Causes of Kidney Cancer
A number of chemical and biologic agents are possible causal factors in the development of renal cancer. An association has been noted between the development of renal cancer and the following factors:
- Cigarette smoking: Cigarette smoking is considered a causal risk factor for renal cancer. A clear dose-response pattern of risk was observed with increasing amount of cigarettes smoked. Smoking cessation reduces the risk of renal cancer.
- Other Pre-existing Conditions: A history of diabetes mellitus, patients with end-stage renal disease (requiring dialysis), kidney transplant patients, and patients with the acquired renal cystic disease are predisposed to the development of renal cancer.
- Reproductive and Hormonal Factors: An increased risk of renal cancer has been associated with women who had given birth, with the highest risk among women who have multiple births at a relatively young age.
- Diet and Beverages: A high consumption of fat and protein of animal origin, acrylamide present in commonly consumed fried and baked foods, and alcohol consumption are potential risk factors for renal cancer. Consuming diets rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce renal cancer risk.
- Occupation and Environment: Occupational exposure to industrial agents like trichloroethylene has been associated with the risk of renal cancer.
- Genetic Factors: Von Hippel-Lindau disease is a genetically inherited syndrome and is characterized by alterations in the VHL gene and predisposition to a number of diseases among family members, including renal cancer.[1,2,3,4,5]
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist in NYC. He specializes in the treatment of men and women with kidney cysts, masses, renal cancer and angiomyolipoma (AML).