11 Kidney Cancer Causes or Risk Factors

kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is a disease whose prevalence is increasing by the day. The disease starts in the kidneys and happens when the healthy cells in either one or both kidneys become cancerous and cause a lump or tumor. Many people suffering from kidney cancer at times live for a long time without knowing they have the disease. In some cases, kidney cancer symptoms don’t manifest themselves. Unfortunately, when you don’t know you have the disease, the cancer keeps advancing to later stages which makes treatment more difficult and further reduces your chances of survival.

If you know kidney cancer risk factors, you can significantly reduce the chances of contracting the disease.


Research has revealed that tobacco smoking is one of the major causes of kidney cancer. About 30% of men who develop kidney cancer become ill because of smoking. On the other hand, 25% of women get kidney cancer because of smoking. To safeguard yourself, you have to ditch the cigarette immediately.


Unfortunately men are at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer more than women. The male risk rate is about 2 to 3 times more than women.


The older you are, the more you are at risk of developing kidney cancer. Most diagnosis are in people between the ages of 50 and 70 years.


Research has shown that people who are obese are at a higher risk of suffering from kidney cancer.

5High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a recipe for many illnesses including kidney cancer. Men who are hypertensive are at risk of developing cancer.

6Certain Medications

Too much use of certain medications have been linked to causing kidney cancer. Painkillers having phenacetin have been prohibited in the U.S. since 1983 because of causing their links to causing cancer. Additionally, excessive use of medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen has been linked to cancer.

7Cadmium Exposure

Studies have shown individuals who’re exposed to cadmium are at a higher risk of getting kidney cancer. If you work with paints, batteries or welding machines, you’re at a higher risk of kidney cancer. Smokers exposed to cadmium are even at a higher risk.

8Kidney Diseases

People with conditions that decrease the kidney function but still haven’t undergone dialysis are at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer.

9Long-term dialysis

Individuals who have undergone dialysis for an extended period of time may have cancerous cysts in their kidneys. If these growths can be discovered early, they can be removed before the cancer advances.

10Family History

If you have close family members such as parents and siblings who’ve suffered from kidney cancer, there is an increased risk of becoming a victim of kidney cancer. The risk is even higher if other members of the extended family such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins have been diagnosed with kidney cancer before attaining the age of 50. If you suspect kidney cancer runs in your family, it is important to have this information and share it with your doctor. When you know the extent of risk you’re exposed, adequate measures can be taken in good time to help you prevent kidney cancer.


Interestingly, black people are more susceptible to kidney cancer.

Nelly Gachanja
Nelly is a digital marketing professional responsible for managing Africa.com’s social media platforms. During her leisure time, Nelly loves cooking and working on her Kenyan food blog Talkingtonelly.com. She also enjoys catching up with current affairs, updating her African music collection, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with family.