Causes of kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is more common in men than in women. It is most often found in people over 50 years of age. There is no single cause of kidney cancer, but some factors increase the risk of developing it:

  • smoking
  • being overweight

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  • African ancestry
  • genetic conditions, such as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease
  • long-term dialysis
  • exposure to the solvent trichloroethylene
  • long-term or heavy use of certain painkillers (phenacetin-based analgesics)
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • drinking water that contains high levels of arsenic

People who come in contact with coke (used in steel production), asbestos or cadmium may have a higher risk of getting kidney cancer. Some people develop kidney cancer without any of these risk factors.

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