Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 07, 2016

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Quick Bites

  • Approx. 75% of cases are observed in aged persons.
  • Kidney cancer may be genetic.
  • High BMI increases the risk of kidney cancer.
  • Smoking is major risk factor.

The risk factors for kidney cancer increase a person’s chances of developing it, but do not directly cause it.  There has been scarce information on the prevention of kidney cancer and therefore, being aware of its risk factors can effectively cut one’s risk of developing this fatal disease. Listed here are various causes of kidney cancer and a few of them are modifiable and preventable. [Read: How to Prevent Kidney Cancer]


Kidney cancer


  • Genetic Factors and Familial diseases— Kidney cancer is usually not associated with diseases that run in the patient’s family, but some inherited illnesses have been found to increase the incidence of kidney cancer. Some of these diseases are listed below.


  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease— It’s a rare genetic condition which leads to the development of tumours and cysts in the body and is associated with the risk of conventional renal cell carcinoma, a rare kidney cancer form.


  • Hereditary Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma— A person with family history of this disorder is likely to develop multiple kidney cancers of the papillary type.


  • Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome— People, who suffer from this disease, are susceptible to the development of varied cancer forms, such as lung cancer, benign skin tumour and kidney cancer.


  • Tuberous Sclerosis— This genetic condition is associated with the growth of benign kidney tumour called angiomyolipomas, but it may not be cancerous in nature.


  • Apart from the above mentioned rarely inherited illnesses, if your family has had a history of kidney cancer malignancy, you’re at the direct risk of developing it.



Age and Gender— Almost 75 per cent of total kidney cases are reported in men and women over the age of 60 years. Men are more likely to suffer from kidney cancer than women— there are approximately three cases of kidney cancer in men for every two cases in women. African-Americans have higher chances of developing kidney cancer than the white race. [Read: Facts about Kidney Cancer]


Occupational hazards— The exposure to hazardous chemicals at workplace and the resultant forms of cancer have been a health concern since the link between the two was found. Steel plant workers are at the greatest risk of kidney cancer due to continuous exposure to coal ovens. Moreover, kidney cancer affects those who are exposed to workplace solvents, asbestors and some forms of cadmium.


Tobacco Smoking— Smoking remains a major risk factor for kidney cancer, which on an average causes 25 per cent of kidney cancer cases while also causing other adverse effects. Smoking doubles the risk of developing kidney cancer and its cessation is the only remedy to cut down the risk. [Read: Innovative Ways To Quit Smoking]


Body weight— In men, if the BMI increases by five points, the kidney cancer risk increases by 24 per cent. In the case of women, the cancer’s risk increases by 34%. Increased bodyweight affects the level of insulin, cholesterol and oestrogens in the body while also suppressing the immune system, thus multiplying the vulnerability to kidney cancer.


Image Source : Getty

Read more articles on Kidney Cancer.


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