Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Kidney Cancer

The exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown, but certain risk factors may play a role in the development of the cancer, including:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Gender (men are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer as women)
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Race (African-Americans have a slightly higher risk)
  • Asbestos exposure
  • Cadmium exposure
  • Advanced kidney disease
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
  • Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome (a human autosomal dominant genetic disorder that can cause susceptibility to kidney cancer, renal and pulmonary cysts)
  • Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
  • Hereditary leiomyoma-renal cell carcinoma
  • Hereditary renal oncocytoma

Diagnoses

To diagnose kidney cancer, your physician may perform a variety of diagnostic tests, including: 


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