We may not hear a lot about kidney cancer but it is the twelfth most common cancer in the world. (1)
Kidney cancer symptoms aren’t always straightforward, especially in the beginning stages.
This can make it difficult to diagnose.
Kidney cancer includes cancer of the whole organ itself (renal cell carcinoma) and renal pelvis cancer, a rarer form that occurs in the center part of the kidney (the renal pelvis).
Approximately 340,000 new cases of kidney cancer occur each year worldwide. The overall incidence of new cases of kidney cancer, however, has plateaued over the last several years. (2)
Research has found the following primary causes of kidney cancer:
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- Cigarette smoking
- Medications containing phenacitin and cyclophosphamide (3, 4, 5)
- Obesity – the World Cancer Research Fund International states:“…about 24% of kidney cancer cases could be prevented in the USA if everyone had a healthy weight. The estimate was about 19% for the UK, 13% for Brazil and 8% for China.” (6)
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Lifestyle – diet, lack of regular physical activity, occupational exposure to toxins (7):“RCC [renal cell cancer] may also be due, in part, to unhealthy lifestyle factors that have been on the increase over the past several decades,” write a 2001 study. (8)