Risk Factors and Diagnosis

Risk Factors and Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer

While the exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown, certain factors are associated with a higher risk of developing kidney cancer:

  • Smoking
  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Chronic kidney disease

Average lifetime risk of developing kidney cancer is about 1 in 63, with men at higher risk than women. Some inherited conditions also have been linked to kidney cancer. For patients with these conditions, our specialists offer genetic testing, imaging and/or urine evaluation.

The diagnosis of kidney cancer can be made 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