Which factors increase the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC)?

Updated: Feb 05, 2019
  • Author: Richard A Santucci, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Several factors have been associated with increased risk of RCC.

  • Obesity and cigarette smoking are the most consistently established causal risk factors, accounting for more than 30% and 20% of renal cell cancers, respectively. [2]

  • Hypertension as an independent factor is associated with increased risk of RCC. [2]

  • Analgesic use was once considered to be a more significant etiology than recent reports have indicated. [2]

  • A family history of RCC is associated with a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of RCC. However, a familial predisposition is identified in less than 2% of RCC cases. [2] The identification of families with a predisposition to the development of renal neoplasms, including von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), hereditary papillary renal carcinoma (HPRC), Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD), and hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC), has enabled the identification of the different genes for these cancers. [3]

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