Causes and risk factors
Certain issues can affect a person's likelihood of developing kidney cancer. These are called risk factors. Just because you have a risk factor does not necessarily mean you will have kidney cancer.
The risk of developing kidney cancer increases with age, and most cases are seen in people over 60.
The longer you smoke and the more you consume, the greater the risk. The risk goes down if you quit smoking.
Studies show that overweight people have a higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Medical conditions
Some medical conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) can increase the risk of getting kidney cancer.
People with advanced-stage kidney disease—especially those needing dialysis—have a higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Family history
Few kidney cancers are not hereditary. However, people who have one or two first-degree relatives (father, sibling, or child) with kidney cancer may have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Some rare genetic conditions by which a person inherits a defective gene can increase the risk of developing kidney cancer. These conditions include Hippel-Lindau syndrome, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma, and Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome.
Renal cancers that develop due to the inheritance of a faulty gene are more likely to cause several tumors, affecting both kidneys and occurring at earlier ages.