What Are Common Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer?

Most people with kidney cancer are over the age of 64; it is very uncommon in people younger than 45. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 73,750 new cases of kidney cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year—more than 60% of which will be in men.

Common risk factors for kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Depending on the stage of cancer, there are different treatment methods, such as active surveillance, surgery, energy ablative techniques, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Here are common risk factors that could increase your risk of kidney cancer (as well as many other types of cancer):


  • Smoking
    Smoking tobacco doubles your risk for kidney cancer. In fact, more than 30% of kidney cancers in men and about 25% in women are attributed to smoking.
  • Excess weight
    Excess weight causes inflammation, which affects how and when cells divide and die.
  • Hypertension
    High blood pressure, whether medicated or not, is associated with an increased risk of developing kidney cancer.
  • Family history
    Though rare, kidney cancer can run in families.
  • Gender
    Men are about twice as likely to develop kidney cancer than women. Research from the University of Rochester suggests higher levels of androgens (hormones) may be to blame.
  • Exposure
    Exposure to certain hazardous substances (e.g., arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, etc.) may increase your risk for kidney cancer.
  • Certain medicines
    Long-term and regular use of diuretics or pain medications like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen has been linked to kidney cancer. 


If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more kidney cancer risk factors, call Alpha Med Physicians Group at 708-928-5040 to schedule an appointment. We are dedicated to providing exceptional care using leading edge technologies.