Cancer Home > Cause of Kidney Cancer

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for kidney cancer; cigarette smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop kidney cancer. Cigar smoking may also increase the risk of developing kidney cancer.
People who are obese have an increased risk of developing kidney cancer.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases a person's risk of developing kidney cancer.
Long-Term Dialysis
Dialysis is a treatment that removes wastes from the blood for people whose kidneys do not work well. Being on dialysis for many years is a risk factor for kidney cancer.
Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) Syndrome
Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome is a rare disease that runs in some families and is caused by changes in the VHL gene. An abnormal von Hippel-Lindau syndrome gene increases a person's risk of kidney cancer and can also cause cysts or tumors in the eyes, brain, and other parts of the body. Family members of those with this syndrome can have a test to check for the abnormal von Hippel-Lindau syndrome gene. For people with the abnormal von Hippel-Lindau syndrome gene, doctors may suggest ways to improve the detection of kidney cancer and other diseases before symptoms develop.
Some people have a higher risk of developing kidney cancer because they come in contact with certain chemicals or substances in their workplace. Coke oven workers in the iron and steel industry are at risk as well as workers who are exposed to asbestos or cadmium.
Males are more likely than females to be diagnosed with kidney cancer. Each year in the United States, approximately 20,000 men and 12,000 women learn that they have kidney cancer.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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