Kidney cancer accounts for approximately 3% of all adult cancers in the United States. This number may seem insignificant on its own, but when you consider that it translates to approximately 32,000 new cancer cases annually the number doesn’t seem so small. Kidney cancer claims about 12,000 lives each year, most of whom are men between the ages of 50 and 70. Although we don’t yet know what causes kidney cancer, we do recognize that certain risk factors are linked to an elevated risk of developing the disease. If you can positively identify any of these kidney cancer risk factors, schedule a screening with a urologist in Nashville.
Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits
Certain lifestyle habits that might be considered unhealthy have shown a causal link with kidney cancer. Smoking, for example, increases the risk of getting kidney cancer. People who are overweight and have a poor diet are also at a higher risk of getting kidney cancer. You might also be at risk if you are regularly exposed to certain chemicals that increase the risk of kidney cancer, including cadmium, herbicides, and certain organic solvents.
Kidney cancer can sometimes be caused by one of six rare inherited conditions. Although people who have these conditions account for only a small portion of total kidney cancer patients overall, people who have these conditions have a much higher risk of developing kidney cancer compared to others. These inherited conditions are:
- Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome
- Family renal cancer
- Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
- Hereditary leiomyoma-renal cell carcinoma
- Hereditary renal oncocytoma
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease
Phenacetin, a once popular pain-reliever, has been linked to kidney cancer but has not been prescribed in the United States for over 20 years. Today there are certain drugs used to treat high blood pressure that has been linked to an elevated risk of kidney cancer, though it’s not clear whether the link is related to the medication or the high blood pressure. Ask your doctor if any of the medication you are on has been shown to elevate one’s risk for kidney cancer.
If you are worried that you might be at risk for kidney cancer, visit Urology Associates P.C. for a cancer screening. We are the leader in urological care in Nashville and throughout Tennessee. If you are diagnosed with kidney cancer, we provide the most advanced and aggressive kidney cancer treatment to help you recover. Call us toll-free at 888-656-0667 to find a urologist in your area.