Also known as renal cell cancer (RCC), the most common type of kidney cancer, abnormal renal cells grow out of control in one or both kidneys, which are bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine, just below the ribs. RCC is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. The lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer in men is about 1 in 46 and for women, it is about 1 in 82.
The kidneys are very important organs that filter out wastes from the bloodstream and excrete them as urine. They also help balance water, salt, and mineral levels in the blood. Although RCC typically grows as a single tumor in one of the kidneys, it is possible for a single kidney to develop multiple tumors, or for both kidneys to have tumors concurrently.
There have been plenty of studies over the years to show that there appears to be a reciprocal relationship between Chronic Kidney Disease (or other advanced kidney disease), particularly those requiring dialysis, and kidney cancer. Studies continue to show that people diagnosed with a kidney disease may be at a significantly higher risk of developing kidney cancer as well.
On the other hand, about one-third of the 300,000 kidney cancer survivors in the United States have or will develop kidney disease.
Researchers have identified hereditary, lifestyle, and environmental factors that may increase your risk of developing cancer of the kidney(s). Below are some of the most common contributing risk factors.
Male Gender – Men are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop kidney cancer than women
Personal or Family History of Kidney Cancer
Tobacco Use – Smoking tobacco doubles your risk
High Blood Pressure / Hypertension
Race / Ethnicity – African-Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives have a slightly higher risk
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