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The exact cause of renal cell cancer is unknown. However, there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of the disease. These risk factors, according to the American Cancer Society, are as follows:
Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of kidney cancer. The risk seems related to the amount you smoke.
Asbestos: Studies show a link between exposure to asbestos and kidney cancer.
Cadmium: There may be a link between cadmium exposure and kidney cancer. Cadmium may increase the cancer-causing effect of smoking.
Family history: Family history of kidney cancer increases a person's risk.
Gender: Men are twice as likely to develop renal cell cancer than women.
Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome: This is a disease caused by a gene mutation that increases the chances of renal cell cancer.
Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome: Patients who have this disease are more likely to develop renal cell cancer.
Obesity: Obesity increases a person's risk of kidney cancer.
Long-term dialysis: Patients who have been on dialysis for a long time may develop kidney cysts, which may be one cause of renal cell cancer.
High blood pressure: Patients who have high blood pressure have a higher risk for kidney cancer.
Diuretics (water pills): Drugs that eliminate excess body fluid may raise the risk of kidney cancer, although this is not clear.
Race: African Americans have a slightly higher risk of kidney cancer.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.