Smoking may be one of the greatest risk factors for elevating the likelihood of developing kidney cancer. Smoking leads to a 50% increase in risk for males and a 20% higher rate in females. Carbon monoxide exposure to tissue creates a hypoxic environment, or inadequate oxygen supply.
Kidney cancer risk is significantly higher in those who are obese. The prevalence of renal cell carcinoma, in particular, has continued to grow annually and is one of the top 10 cancers affecting Americans today. More than 40% of renal cell cancer patients are obese.
As with obesity, diabetes is likely a risk factor for kidney cancer despite its indirect relationship to causing the cancer.
4. Food and Drink Consumption
There are contradicting results on how food and drink consumption affects the risk for developing kidney cancer. Research has found that common substances found in fried foods and baked goods may likely elevate risk. However, contrary to popular assumptions, some evidence shows that alcohol consumption of slightly more than one alcoholic beverage daily can reduce risk by 28%.
5. Environmental Exposure
Do you clean the rugs and carpets in your home with spot cleaners and chemical solvents? You may now think twice before cleaning without the windows open and inhaling the “clean” smelling fumes.Trichloroethylene is used for industrial machining and refrigerant purposes but can also be detected in a variety of household items such as rug cleaners. This sweet smelling chemical contaminates our air and water..
Hypertension, as well as the use of antihypertensive drugs and diuretics, will put you at an elevated risk. Those individuals who are both obese and hypertensive have an even higher risk level than those who have only one of these conditions.
Although the mechanisms for this association are unknown, women who give birth at a young age are 40-90% more likely to develop kidney cancer. The more births a woman had, especially at a younger age, the higher her risk.
8. Physical Activity Level
Leading a sedentary lifestyle puts you at risk for developing kidney cancer. Regular physical activity is associated with lowered body weight and blood pressure, improved insulin management, and a healthier inflammatory response.
You can’t change your sex or the next two risk factors but you should be well aware of your odds against the disease. Men are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer as women.
Kidney cancer is uncommon in people under the age of 45. The average age for diagnosis is 64. People between the ages of 50-70 should be screening for symptoms of the disease.