Kidney cancer is the type of cancer that begins in the kidneys. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer found in adults. There are other less common types of kidney cancer, which can also occur. In children, the most common type of kidney cancer to be diagnosed is Wilms’ tumor.
Here are the common risk factors and causes of kidney cancer.
Causes of kidney cancer
When the DNA present in kidney cells start to mutate, it can lead to kidney cancer. DNA is responsible for sending instructions to the cells and tell them what to do. This mutation can take place in one or both kidneys. Because of the mutation, the cells start to grow beyond control. As a result, the abnormally grown cells outnumber the healthy cells, and start to accumulate and form a tumor. These cells can also metastasize, break free, and reach other parts of the body. The exact cause of kidney cancer in a person might not be known. However, there are certain risk factors that increase the likeliness of a person to suffer from the condition. In addition to these risk factors, there are certain cancer syndromes that can be hereditary that can increase the risk of developing kidney cancer.
Risk factors of kidney cancer
There are several known risk factors for kidney cancer. These include the following:
A person’s risk of developing the condition increases as they age. Kidney cancer is not a common condition in people aged under 45. The average age at which the condition is diagnosed is 64.
Obesity or unhealthy body weight
When the body weight has unhealthy amounts of weight, it can increase the chances of a lot of disorders, including kidney cancer. Excessive body weight, especially the one caused due to the consumption of a high-fat diet, can increase the risk of developing kidney cancer.
High blood pressure
People who suffer from high blood pressure problems are more likely to suffer from kidney cancer as compared to people who don’t have this issue.
People on dialysis
Dialysis is a treatment given to people whose kidneys cannot purify blood on their own and thus require a machine to do it. People who have been on this treatment for long-term are at greater risk of developing kidney cancer.
Risk of developing kidney cancer increases in people who have a family history of the condition than people who don’t. Also, people who have certain inherited genetic conditions are at higher risk of the disease. These conditions include:
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Hereditary leiomyomatosis renal cell carcinoma
- Hereditary renal oncocytoma
- Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome
- Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma