Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for kidney cancer. Quitting smoking or never starting it in the first place can significantly reduce the risk of kidney cancer.
Those willing to quit may consider enrolling in smoking cessation clinics where tobacco cessation specialists use evidence-based techniques to help smokers quit tobacco.
Obesity is one of the crucial renal cancer risk factors. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a healthy weight. A balanced diet and an active lifestyle can help maintain optimum weight.
One must consider including plenty of fruits and vegetables in their diet while limiting highly processed foods.
According to multiple studies, prolonged exposure to hazardous chemicals, such as asbestos, cadmium, and organic solvents, is one of the important RCC risk factors.
Those regularly exposed to these hazardous chemicals due to their occupational requirements should take the necessary precautions and follow the safety guidelines to reduce exposure. At home, installing air filters, avoiding artificial air fresheners, keeping the environment clean, etc., can be helpful.
It is important to take good care of the kidneys, as they have multiple crucial functions within the body. Maintaining good kidney health also plays a pivotal role in reducing the risk of kidney cancer.
Important measures that can help in kidney health preservation and potential renal cell carcinoma prevention include drinking enough water, refraining from tobacco and alcohol consumption, promptly managing health conditions like hypertension and diabetes, and avoiding the overuse of certain medications that can affect kidney health.
Increasing age is a key risk factor for kidney cancer. Most kidney cancer cases are diagnosed among individuals aged 45 and older. As we age, we are exposed to more risk factors and genetic changes, and this also makes increasing age an important kidney cancer risk factor.
Smoking is a well-established risk factor for kidney cancer. The carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) present in tobacco hamper kidney health and lead to kidney cancer formation. These carcinogens cause genetic changes, inflammation, and cellular damage, which contribute to tumor formation.
Obesity is one of the most important renal cell carcinoma risk factors. The accumulation of excess fat around the waistline can lead to hormonal changes and inflammation, which in turn, can trigger the development of kidney cancer.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. Chronic hypertension is a risk factor for kidney cancer. Those with high blood pressure should opt for necessary medical intervention to reduce their kidney cancer risk.
Those who have undergone treatment for kidney failure also have an increased kidney cancer risk. Kidney failure treatments, such as long-term dialysis and kidney transplant, are also found to be important RCC risk factors, due to their tendency to cause inflammation.
Certain inherited syndromes are also found to increase the risk of kidney cancer. These include von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome, hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC), hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma (HPRCC), tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) syndrome, BAP1 tumor predisposition syndrome (BAP1 TPS), and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex syndrome.
Those diagnosed with these genetic conditions should consider seeing a genomics specialist for genetic counseling and testing.
Those with a family history of kidney cancer have a higher chance of being diagnosed with this condition. Those who identify themselves with this renal cancer risk factor must talk to a specialist for appropriate measures and guidelines that can help reduce their kidney cancer risk.
Overuse of certain medications also becomes one of the renal cell carcinoma risk factors, by causing kidney damage, inflammation, or kidney infections. Therefore, it is important to avoid the overuse of medications that negatively impact kidney health.
Some of the medications that may cause kidney damage include analgesics (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.), antibiotics (aminoglycosides, amphotericin B, etc.), diuretics (furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, etc.), and proton-pump inhibitors (omeprazole, rabeprazole, etc.).
Chronic kidney disease can also serve as an important risk factor for kidney cancer, as it causes inflammation and toxic build-up. Another way CKD increases abnormal cell growth is by triggering excess production of RBCs.
It is important to manage chronic kidney diseases efficiently, and more importantly, it is necessary to take good care of the kidneys.
Long-term dialysis is also one of the key renal cancer risk factors, and it increases one’s kidney cancer risk by five times. Many studies have reported that it is not the dialysis that contributes to the increased cancer risk, but the chronic kidney disease that it is administered to treat.
Those who have undergone radiation therapy for cancers in the pelvis region are at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
Von Hippel-Lindau disease is a genetic condition that leads to the formation of tumors in multiple organs. Having this condition increases kidney cancer risk.
HPRCC occurs when there is a mutation in the MET gene, which is responsible for cell growth regulation.
BHD is caused by a mutation in the FLCN gene, which plays a role in cell growth regulation. Having this genetic disorder increases the risk of both benign and malignant kidney tumors.
HLRCC occurs due to a mutation in the fumarate hydratase gene, which plays a role in cell growth regulation. HLRCC increases the risk of renal cell carcinomas that have the characteristics of papillary RCC and collecting duct RCC.
TSC syndrome is caused by mutations in the TSC1 or TSC2 genes that play a role in cell growth regulation. Those with TSC syndrome are at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
SDH complex syndrome occurs when mutations occur in SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, or SDHD genes that are responsible for cell growth regulation. Those with SDH complex syndrome have an increased kidney cancer risk
BAP1 TPS is caused by mutations in the BAP1 gene, which helps regulate cell growth. Individuals diagnosed with BAP1 TPS have a higher kidney cancer risk.