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Kidney Cancer Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease, such as cancer. There are different kinds of risk factors. Some factors, like a person's age or race, can't be changed. Others are linked to cancer-causing factors in the environment. Still others are to related personal behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and diet. Some factors influence risk more than others, and your risk for kidney cancer can change over time, due to factors such as aging or lifestyle.

Kidney Cancer risk factors you cannot change

  • Gender:
    kidney cancer is twice as common in men as in women.
  • Race:
    African-Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives have a slight higher rate of kidney cancer than whites. It's not known why.
  • Family History of kidney cancer
    People with a family history of renal cell cancer have a greater chance of getting this cancer. The risk is highest in siblings, but it's not clear if this is due to genetics or shared environment, or both.
  • Hereditary Conditions:

If you have a family history of kidney cancer consider contacting our Cancer Genetics Clinic. The clinic can work with you to determine if your family is at higher risk to develop cancer. And if you are, our specialized physicians and genetic counselors will develop a plan for additional screening or lifestyle changes to help reduce your cancer risk. Make an appointment in the Cancer Genetics Clinic by calling 734-763-2532.

Kidney Cancer Risk factors linked to things you do

Some lifestyle-related factors have been linked to an higher risk of kidney cancer.

  • Smoking
  • Being very overweight (or obese)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Advanced Kidney Disease
  • Workplace / environmental exposures to substances such as herbicides, organic solvents and cadmium (a type of metal)

Source: American Cancer Society - What are the risk factors for kidney cancer?

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