RCC101: Risk factors of RCC

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common form of kidney cancer. Here are some of the factors thought to increase the risk of RCC:

  1. Smoking: Smokers are at greater risk of developing RCC. What’s worse, evidence suggests that smokers are more often diagnosed with advanced RCC than non-smokers.1,2
  2. Occupational exposure to toxins: People who are regularly exposed to cadmium, asbestos, and petroleum byproducts are at greater risk of RCC.3

  1. Hepatitis C infection: In a study, the risk of RCC was 77% higher in patients with chronic hepatitis C infections vs. those without.4
  2. Certain painkillers: Studies have shown that the risk of RCC is higher in heavy users of a common type of painkiller called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Tylenol (acetaminophen) was consistently mentioned in these studies.5,6
  3. Diabetes: Some studies have shown that people with diabetes may have modestly increased risk of RCC, possibly through uncontrolled high blood pressure.3

To learn more:

Symptoms

Causes

What to expect?

References: 1. Cumberbatch MG, et al. Eur Urol 2016;70(3):458-66. 2. Tsivian M, et al. J Clin Oncol 2011;29(15):2027-31. 3. UpToDate. Epidemiology, pathology, and pathogenesis of renal cell carcinoma. Available at http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed on August 22, 2016. 4. Cho E, et al. Arch Intern Med 2011;171(16):1487-93. 5. Karami S, et al. Int J Cancer 2016;139(3):584-92. 6. Gordon SC, et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010;19(4):1066-73.

Last updated: September 17, 2016.
Photo adapted from original by Eugene Zemlyanskiy, used under license.

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