Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer


October 17, 2020

We consider risk factors as whatever can heighten your likelihood of having a disease or condition. All cancers don’t have the same risk factors. However, possessing one or a couple of these risk factors doesn’t imply that you’re sure to have a type of cancer.

Below are the risk factors for kidney cancer:

1. Smoking

Smoking habit increases the risk of developing kidney cancer disease. The extended duration of time plus the amount of cigarettes you’ve inhaled and exhaled increases this risk.

Fortunately, your risk diminishes as you quit the habit. More so, after a decade of successfully quitting, it becomes similar to the risk of an individual who has never engaged in the act. 

2. Impaired Genes and Inherited Conditions

Only a handful of people inherit impaired genes that increase their likelihood of developing kidney cancer. This condition leads to a type of cancer called familial or hereditary kidney cancer. Alterations in the DNA of an impaired gene causes it to function abnormally. Scientists are still researching which genes bear these faults in the DNA.

Usually, individuals with faulty genes who also have kidney cancer typically have cancer in their left and right kidneys, i.e., bilateral kidney cancer. As a result, they may similarly develop numerous tumors in both kidneys.

Faulty genes cause people to develop kidney cancer at a minor age than individuals with non-inherited kidney cancers.

Inherited Conditions that Heighten the Risk of Kidney Cancer

Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome

People with the Von Hippel-Lindau gene have this syndrome running through their lineage.

Family members who bear the gene have a higher risk of getting numerous rare cancers in their pancreas, inner ear, eyes, spine, and brain.

Papillary Renal Cell and Hereditary Clear Cell Cancers

Inherited faulty genes can also lead to hereditary papillary kidney and hereditary clear cell kidney cancers. The two conditions are dominant genetic conditions. Meaning you don’t have to inherit the faulty gene from both parents before developing the disease. Nonetheless, both conditions are extremely uncommon.

Tuberous Sclerosis

A faulty gene prompts this condition. A person with tuberous sclerosis has a higher risk of kidney cancers and kidney cysts.

Other problems this condition may lead to include skin, heart, and brain issues. Moreover, it can lead to kidney disease.

Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome

Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome results in several noncancerous (benign) tumors appearing in the hair follicles of the skin. You can find these on the trunk, face, and neck.

Furthermore, individuals with this syndrome have a higher risk of kidney cancer.

3. Body Weight and Height

Obesity and overweight are some of the known factors contributing to kidney cancer. Researches report that 24% of people with kidney cancer are overweight and obese.

 A person who is overweight will have hormonal changes, more commonly, women. This change may be a contributing factor to this cancer.

An overweight person has a body mass index ranging between 25 and 39.9, while that of an obese person is 30 and above. You can calculate your body mass index by using your height and weight.

4. Kidney Disease

A person with kidney failure needs dialysis as often as twice a week. This process is done to filter their blood. Going for dialysis for a long time increases a person’s chance of having a kidney cyst, leading to kidney cancer.

5. Family History

The family history of a person may expose them to the risk of kidney cancer. Having a first-degree relative – that is, your parent, sibling, or child – who has kidney cancer may put you in a position to develop kidney cancer.

6. High Blood Pressure

Research has shown that people with high blood pressure or who use high blood pressure medicines are at the risk of kidney cancer.

However, it’s believed that high blood pressure is the cause and not the medicine. Generally, hypertension is reported to be one of the causes of kidney disease itself.

7. Thyroid Cancer

Kidney cancer is a risk to people who had thyroid cancer mainly because of the alteration of genes prevalent to both cancers.

8. Diabetes

According to research, type 1 diabetes may expose a person living with the disease to kidney cancer, especially those who use insulin to manage this type of diabetes. However, diabetic drugs like pioglitazone or metformin are harmless.

9. Mild Painkillers

The chances are that the use of mild painkillers exposes a person to kidney cancer. According to American researchers, findings in six different countries show that the use of mild painkillers is a risk factor.

A drug like phenacetin was confirmed to link a person to the disease. Therefore, in the U.K, it’s no longer in the market. A Painkiller like ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also harmful to the kidneys and can lead to kidney cancer. However, the irregular use of these drugs is harmless.

Physical activities help to reduce the risk of kidney cancer. Therefore, get a good ping pong table recommendation from expert ping pong players so you can derive the health benefits associated with the sport. A perfect paddle adding a lot of spin to the game is also good to have an excellent time.

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