Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer
by Debra Wood, RN
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 Conditions and Medications
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: https://www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/patient/kidney-treatment-pdq. Updated November 8, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020.
Kidney cancer. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/what-kidney-cancer. Accessed February 28, 2020.
Kidney cancer (adult)—renal cell carcinoma. American Cancer Society website. Available at:
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Accessed February 28, 2020.
Renal cell carcinoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated October 10, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2020.
Last reviewed December 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 2/28/2020
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