Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Kidney Cancer

While the exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown, certain factors are associated:

Risk factors include:

  • Smoking: Smoking may increase the risk of kidney cancer
  • Family history: There appears to be a genetic component to kidney cancer
  • Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes and metabolic syndrome are at an increased risk of kidney cancer
  • Obesity: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of kidney cancer

Early Detection

One’s lifetime risk of developing kidney cancer is about 1 in 63, with men at increased risk compared to women. Some inherited conditions also have been linked to kidney cancer. For these patients, our specialists offer genetic testing, imaging and/or urine evaluation for hematuria.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of kidney cancer can be performed in several ways:

  • Imaging that shows a solid or complex cystic renal mass
  • Biopsy of the renal mass
  • Removal of a suspicious mass by partial or radical nephrectomy

Related Resources

  • Renal Scan Brochure: Learn about the preparations and care needed before and after this procedure. English | Spanish
  • Renal Imaging with Lasix®: Nuclear Medicine: Learn about the preparations and care needed before and after this procedure. English | Spanish