Health

Broncos RB, Ronnie Hillman died from rare kidney cancer that affects young black males the most

Former Denver Broncos running back and Super Bowl 50 champion Ronnie Hillman, 31, died early Thursday morning of a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects young black men.

Renal medullary carcinoma (RMC) is a cancer that occurs most often in people 10 to 40 years old – a form of the disease that younger people are at higher risk. It is one of the most aggressive forms of kidney cancer.

About 80,000 Americans are diagnosed each year and it is the cause of 14,000 American deaths. It has a median survival rate of only four months after diagnosis, making it one of the deadliest cancers.

It almost exclusively affects people born with the sickle cell trait – a gene mutation carried by up to 3 million Americans. Black Americans are most at risk, with up to 10 percent of people in the demographic affected.

Mr Hillman was diagnosed with the condition in August. He underwent treatment, but his family said it was unsuccessful.

Former Denver Broncos Running Back Ronnie Hillman Died Wednesday At Age 31 After Being Admitted To Hospice Earlier This Week Amid His Battle With A Rare Form Of Kidney Cancer.

Former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman died Wednesday at age 31 after being admitted to hospice earlier this week amid his battle with a rare form of kidney cancer.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother and father, Ronnie K Hillman Jr.,” read a post on the running back’s Instagram account.

“Ronnie passed peacefully today in the company of his family and close friends.”

The running back was drafted by the Broncos in 2012 and has been used for the team for four years. He won a Super Bowl with the organization in 2016.

He would have brief spells with the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys before retiring from pro football in 2017.

Mr Hillman’s family said he was hospitalized on Tuesday due to complications from both his cancer and pneumonia.

Denver Broncos Running Back Ronnie Hillman (23) Runs In For A Touchdown During The Fourth Quarter Against The Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016

Denver Broncos Running Back Ronnie Hillman (23) Runs In For A Touchdown During The Fourth Quarter Against The Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016

Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) runs in for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016

The Broncos Released A Team Statement Thursday Following Hillman'S Death On Wednesday

The Broncos Released A Team Statement Thursday Following Hillman'S Death On Wednesday

The Broncos released a team statement Thursday following Hillman’s death on Wednesday

A Report 2014 by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center explains that RMC mainly affects young black men – who are twice as likely to get the disease.

In a Report 2017 it is described by Turkish researchers as having a ‘very poor prognosis’.

It almost exclusively affects people born with sickle-shaped red blood cells.

This genetic mutation — which occurs in up to one percent of Americans, but in 10 percent of black Americans.

It occurs when a person has one copy of the sickle cell trait from their parents. This is different from the dangerous sickle cell disease – where a person has acquired the mutation from both parents.

While the sickle cell trait is harmless in itself, it exposes those who carry it to significant risk.

However, complications can arise throughout life, such as muscle breakdown, decreased blood flow to the spleen — damage to the organ — and glaucoma.

The most dangerous condition often associated with the sickle cell trait is RMC.

Exactly why the condition develops is unclear. While it seems like the sickle cell trait would explain why it affects black people more, scientists haven’t determined why it primarily affects young black men.

The average age of diagnosis is 27, with cases in people over 35 being particularly rare.

Cancer risks often increase with age, making RMC a rarity among these types of diseases.

Also unlike other cancers, there are no genetic risks of developing the cancer.

A person who carries the sickle cell trait is just as likely to suffer from the disease regardless of whether a parent also developed it.

The kidney cancer can quickly kill those who suffer from it, and experts urge a person to seek immediate medical attention after experiencing symptoms.

Early symptoms include blood in the urine and pain around the kidney. Over time, some will feel a mass forming in their abdomen, lose weight, and experience night sweats.

In most cases, the cancer will first develop in a person’s right kidney.

The cancerous tumor spreads to other parts of the body shortly after diagnosis in 95 percent of cases.

Cancer that has spread – called metastasis – is more difficult to treat because it now damages an even larger area of ​​the body. Metastasis occurs in 90 percent of deaths.

The malignant growth will usually spread to a person’s lungs, liver, lymph nodes — in the neck and armpit — and hormonal glands.

It is usually treated through chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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