Kidney cancer is a life-threatening disease that affects approximately 65,000 Americans every year. When or how it occurs cannot be predicted precisely by any doctor, but what can be understood are its risk factors. It is imperative to note that kidney cancer cannot be understood directly; one must know about the elements associated with it. Below is a concise list of risk factors linked to kidney cancer:
There are no good benefits of this habit. In fact, excessive smoking can put one at a higher risk for developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC). This, in turn, can lead to malignant tumors that are associated with kidney cancer.
- Obesity and high blood pressure
Overweight people are more likely to get RCC. Abnormal secretions of certain hormones, too, can be a cause of kidney cancer. High blood pressure is another risk factor associated with kidney cancer, especially if one has a complicated history pertaining to this condition.
- Family history
Having blood relatives such as mother, sister, brother, or father, who have suffered/are suffering from kidney cancer, can increase one’s chances of getting the same. Inherited kidney cancer is, however, a rare occurrence; and although the reason behind this condition is not clearly known, experts speculate that it could be due to shared genes.
- Gender, age, and race
This risk factor is the highest in men than in women. This disease is likely to occur between 40 and 60 years and its risk increases as one age. Studies suggest that African Americans are at a higher risk for developing this type of cancer, along with having lower survival rates.
Hereditary genes that one is born with can also be a risk factor of kidney cancer. Some develop this disease due to inherited genetic conditions. Hence, doctors recommend getting regular imaging tests if one has already been diagnosed with RCC.
- Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome
This condition is signified by tumors known as pheochromocytoma, and cysts, that form in different parts of the body, including the eyes, brain, pancreas, and spinal cord. It is essentially a genetic disorder.
- Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC)
HLRCC is a condition caused by the formation of type-2 papillary RCC and benign tumors known as leiomyomas. In this condition, one develops tumors in the skin and uterus due to mutations in the FH gene.
- Birt-Hogg Dubé (BHD) Syndrome
This hereditary condition can occur due to FLCN gene mutations. Tiny skin tumors that are associated with kidney cancer are caused in this condition. These tumors may be benign or malignant.
- Familial Renal Cancer
Mutations in the SDHB and SDHD genes can cause familial renal cancer. In this condition, people suffer from tumors that occur in the head and neck areas.
- Cowden Syndrome
Cowden syndrome happens due to mutations in the PTEN gene, and is commonly associated with breast, thyroid, and kidney cancer.