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Kidney Cancer Risk Factors

Kidney cancer risk factors include any behaviors or conditions that are believed to put you at a greater risk of developing kidney cancer. While in most cases physicians can’t pinpoint a precise cause of the cancer or explain why one person gets cancer and another doesn’t, researchers have identified certain risk factors that seem to increase the chance that a person will develop kidney cancer.  Statistically, kidney cancer tends to be seen more frequently in men than women, and is slightly more common in African-Americans. Also, studies have suggested that obesity may contribute to the development of the condition. Some of the other risk factors for developing kidney cancer include:

  • Smoking – Research has confirmed that the more you smoke and the longer you smoke, your chance of developing kidney cancer increases. Although quitting smoking can decrease your chance, it may take a number of years before your risk decreases to that of a person who has never smoked tobacco.
  • Genetics – If one of your family members has had kidney cancer, your risk of developing the disease increases slightly. Other hereditary factors include von Hippel-Lindau disease and Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome.
  • Medication abuse – The misuse of over-the-counter pain medicines over an extended period of time can increase the likelihood of developing kidney cancer.

The use of diuretics is also believed to have a connection the disease, although it is unclear whether it’s the diuretics themselves or the underlying condition they treat that poses the problem.

The Urologic Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center is dedicated to studying the risk factors that lead to kidney cancer as part of our larger purpose to discover the most effective treatment methods available. Our robust clinical trials program continues to make important strides in preventing, diagnosing and treating kidney cancer. Call 1-888-663-3488 or contact us using our convenient online new patient registration form to learn more about kidney cancer risk factors and the ways in which you can reduce the possibility of you or someone you love developing the disease. We are always available for a consultation, with or without a referral.