Factors that can increase the risk of kidney cancer include:

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  • Older age. Your risk of kidney cancer increases as you age.
  • Being male. Men are more likely to develop kidney cancer.
  • Smoking. Smokers have a greater risk of kidney cancer than nonsmokers do. The risk decreases after you quit.
  • Obesity. People who are obese have a higher risk of kidney cancer than do people who are considered average weight.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure increases your risk of kidney cancer, but it isn’t clear why.

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  • Chemicals in your workplace. Workers who are exposed to certain chemicals on the job may have a higher risk of kidney cancer. People who work with chemicals such as asbestos and cadmium may have an increased risk of kidney cancer.
  • Treatment for kidney failure. People who receive long-term dialysis to treat chronic kidney failure have a greater risk of developing kidney cancer.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease. People with this inherited disorder are likely to develop several kinds of tumors, including, in some cases, kidney cancer.

Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma. Having this inherited condition makes it more likely you’ll develop one or more kidney cancers.

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