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A risk factor is something that increases your chances of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop kidney cancer with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing a disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
In general, kidney cancer is more common in people after age 50. The incidence of kidney cancer in men is nearly double that of women.
Other factors that may increase your chance of kidney cancer include:
Certain changes in DNA increase the chance of specific cancers. Some DNA changes are inherited from the parent. Inherited conditions that are also associated with a high risk of kidney cancer include:
A strong family history of kidney cancer may increase the chance of developing this cancer. The risk is greatest if a sibling has kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer is strongly associated with lifestyle factors. The following factors may increase your risk of developing kidney cancer:
Medical treatments and conditions that may have an increase in the risk of kidney cancer include:
General information about renal cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/patient/kidney-treatment-pdq. Updated July 7, 2015. Accessed December 22, 2015.
Kidney cancer. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneycancer. Accessed December 22, 2015.
Kidney cancer (adult)—renal cell carcinoma. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003107-pdf.pdf. Accessed December 22, 2015.
Pischon, T, Lahmann, PH, Boeing H, et al. Body size and risk of renal cell carcinoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Int J Cancer. 2006;118(3):728-738.
Renal cell carcinoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 21, 2015. Accessed December 22, 2015.
Renal cell carcinoma (adenocarcinoma of the kidneys). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/renal-cell-carcinoma. Updated November 2013. Accessed December 22, 2015.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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