Kidney Cancer Symptoms & Risk Factors

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What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

When kidney tumors are small, they rarely cause visible signs or symptoms in its early stages. When tumors are large or in very advanced stages, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Blood in the urine
  • A lump in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite and/or unexpected weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue

Incidence and Risk Factors of Kidney Cancer

Studies have shown that certain lifestyle, environmental and heredity factors increase the risk of developing renal tumors. Although we do not know all the causes of kidney cancer, the following factors may increase the risk of developing this disease:

  • Age. The risk of kidney cancer significantly increases with age with the highest incidence between the ages of 55 and 84.
  • Gender. Men are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer as women.
  • Race. African Americans have a slightly higher risk than Caucasians.
  • Smoking. Smokers are at greater risk than nonsmokers for developing kidney cancer. 
  • Obesity. Studies have found a strong link between excess weight and kidney cancer.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) increases the risk of kidney cancer. 
  • Kidney Disease and Dialysis. People who receive long-term dialysis for treatment of chronic kidney disease are at greater risk of developing kidney cancer.
  • Heredity. There are over a dozen genetic conditions that can increase the risk of kidney cancer. The UCLA Kidney Cancer Program specializes in diagnopsis and management of these conditions.