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Research / UCCRI/ Kidney Portal/ Kidney Cancer/ Causes & Prevention


Kidney Cancer Causes & Prevention

Risk Factors

The exact cause of renal cancer remains largely unknown. However there is evidence of factors that may increase the risk of renal cancer. Factors like smoking, high blood pressure, exposure to certain toxic chemicals (such as asbestos), and having a family history of kidney cancer have been associated with a higher risk of developing kidney cancer. Gender and age also appear to play a role in the incidence of renal cancer. Men are about twice as likely to develop renal cancer as women and the risk for developing the disease tends to increase with age.



There are some physical and social factors to control in order to promote your overall well-being and the health of your kidneys.

Blood Pressure: Blood continually passes through your kidneys and is filtered to produce urine. Regularly checking and controlling your blood pressure can support your overall kidney health. For diabetics, closely controlling blood glucose is also very important and for those with anemia (having less than the normal amount of red blood cells), it is important to maintain a normal red blood cell count. 

Environmental Toxins: A precautionary measure involves minimizing your exposure to environmental toxins when possible and using appropriate protective equipment when exposure is unavoidable.

Nutrition: Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking water can positively impact your kidney health.

Lifestyle: Not smoking, exercising regularly (45-60 minutes, 4-5 times a week), and maintaining a healthy weight are changes that will improve the health of your kidneys

Medications: Being prudent when taking non-prescription medications, especially pain killers and to follow a physician’s instructions carefully when taking prescription medications.