Kidney cancer risk

Preventable cases

Kidney cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

Caused by obesity

Kidney cancer cases caused by overweight and obesity, UK, 2015

 

Caused by smoking

Kidney cancer cases caused by smoking, UK, 2015

 

The estimated lifetime risk of being diagnosed with kidney cancer is 1 in 34 (3%) for males, and 1 in 61 (2%) for females born after 1960 in the UK.[1]

These figures take account of the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of kidney cancer in their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2]

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2016-based Life expectancies and population projections. Accessed December 2017, and Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016. 
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5. 

About this data

Data is for UK, past and projected cancer incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961, ICD-10 C64-C66,C68.

The calculations used past and projected cancer incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961 to project risk over the lifetime of those born in 1961 (cohort method).[1] Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

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34% of kidney cancer cases in the UK are preventable.[1]

Kidney cancer risk is associated with a number of risk factors.[2-4]

Kidney Cancer Risk Factors

  Increases risk Decreases risk
'Sufficient' or 'convincing' evidence
  • Tobacco smoking[a,b]
  • X-radiation, gamma-radiation[a]
  • Trichloroethylene[a]
  • Plants containing aristolochic acid[b]
  • Phenacetin[b]
  • Analgesics containing phenacetin[b]
  • Body fatness[a]
 
'Limited' or 'Probable' evidence
  • Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds[a]
  • Cadmium and cadmium compounds[a]
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid[a]
  • Printing processes[a]
  • Welding fumes [a]
  • Aristolochic acid (not in plants)[b]
  • Adult attained height[a]
  • Alcoholic drinks[a]

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classifications.

a Kidney; b Renal pelvis and ureter.

See also

Want to generate bespoke preventable cancers stats statements? Download our interactive statement generator.

Find out more about the definitions and evidence for this data

Learn how attributable risk is calculated

References

  1. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018.
  2. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122.  Accessed October 2018.
  3. Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, et al. Body Fatness and Cancer--Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 25;375(8):794-8.
  4. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed October 2016.
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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classify the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1,2] 24% of kidney cancer cases in the UK are caused by overweight and obesity.[3]

Adult BMI

Kidney cancer risk is 22% higher in men who are overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25-29.9) and 63% higher in men who are obese (BMI 30+), compared with those of a normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9), a meta-analysis showed.[4] Kidney cancer risk is 38% higher in women who are overweight and 95% higher in women who are obese compared with those of a normal weight, a meta-analysis showed.[4]

Overweight and obesity may increase kidney cancer risk by raising insulin, oestrogens and growth factors levels, and changing cholesterol metabolism or the immune system.[5]

Bith weight

Wilms tumour risk is higher in children with a higher birth-weight, a meta-analysis showed.[6]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] 13% of kidney cancer cases in the UK are caused by smoking.[2]

Kidney cancer risk is 33% higher in current smokers compared with non-smokers, a meta-analysis showed.[3]

Kidney cancer risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and smoking duration, a meta-analysis showed.[4] Kidney cancer risk is 50-76% higher in heavy smokers (those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day or have more than 50 pack-years Open a glossary item of exposure), compared with never-smokers, a meta-analysis showed.[4]

Kidney cancer risk among ex-smokers who quit more than 10 years ago is comparable to that of never-smokers, a meta-analysis showed.[4]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

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Kidney disease

Kidney cancer risk is 3.6 times higher in people with end stage renal disease receiving dialysis, and risk increases with the number of years on dialysis, a cohort study showed.[1]

Kidney cancer risk among people with chronic kidney disease increases with poorer kidney function, a cohort study showed;[2] however detection bias (increased diagnostic activity in this population) may partly explain this.

Kidney stones

Kidney cancer risk among men is 41% higher in those with kidney stones, a meta-analysis showed.[3] Kidney cancer risk among women is not associated with kidney stones, a meta-analysis showed.[3]

Hypertension

Kidney cancer risk is 62% higher in people with a history of hypertension, a meta-analysis showed; this may relate to hypertension treatment but evidence is unclear.[4]

Hypertension may cause damage to the kidney directly, or increase susceptibility to carcinogens.[5]

Kidney cancer risk is 54-100% higher in diuretics users versus non-users, a meta-analysis showed; this may relate to the underlying hypertension but evidence is unclear.[6]

Diabetes

Kidney cancer risk is 40% higher in diabetics compared with non-diabetics, meta-analyses have shown.[7,8]

Kidney cancer risk among diabetics may be higher in insulin users than non-users, a meta-analysis showed.[9] Kidney cancer risk among diabetics is not associated with metformin or pioglitazone use,[10] meta-analyses have shown.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Kidney cancer risk is 38% higher in non-aspirin NSAID ever-users, compared with never/rare users, a meta-analysis showed.[11] Kidney cancer risk is not associated with aspirin use, a meta-analysis showed.[11]

Paracetamol

Kidney cancer risk is 32% higher in paracetamol (acetaminophen) ever-users, compared with never/rare users, a meta-analysis showed.[11]

References

  1. Stewart JH, Buccianti G, Agodoa L, et al. Cancers of the kidney and urinary tract in patients on dialysis for end-stage renal disease: analysis of data from the United States, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. J Am Soc Nephrol 2003;14:197-207.
  2. Lowrance WT, Ordoñez J, Udaltsova N, et al. CKD and the risk of incident cancer. J Am Soc Nephrol 2014;25(10):2327-34.
  3. Cheungpasitporn W, Thongprayoon C, O'Corragain OA, et al. The risk of kidney cancer in patients with kidney stones: a systematic review and meta-analysis. QJM 2014. pii: hcu195.
  4. Corrao G, Scotti L, Bagnardi V, Sega R. Hypertension, antihypertensive therapy and renal-cell cancer: a meta-analysis. Curr Drug Saf 2007;2:125-33.
  5. Brennan P, van der Hel O, Moore LE, et al. Tobacco smoking, body mass index, hypertension, and kidney cancer risk in central and eastern Europe. Br J Cancer 2008;99:1912-5.
  6. Grossman E, Messerli FH, Goldbourt U. Antihypertensive therapy and the risk of malignancies. Eur Heart J 2001;22:1343-52.
  7. Starup-Linde J, Karlstad O, Eriksen SA, et al. CARING (CAncer Risk and INsulin analoGues): The Association of Diabetes Mellitus and Cancer Risk with Focus on Possible Determinants- a Systematic Review and a Meta-Analysis. Curr Drug Saf. 2013 Nov 7.
  8. Bao C, Yang X, Xu W, et al. Diabetes mellitus and incidence and mortality of kidney cancer: a meta-analysis. J Diabetes Complications. 2013 Jul-Aug;27(4):357-64.
  9. Karlstad O, Linde JS, Vestergaard P, et al. Use of Insulin and Insulin Analogs and Risk of Cancer- Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Curr Drug Saf. 2013 Nov 7.
  10. Colmers IN, Bowker SL, Johnson JA. Thiazolidinedione use and cancer incidence in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes Metab 2012;38(6):475-84.
  11. Choueiri TK, Je Y, Cho E. Analgesic use and the risk of kidney cancer: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Int J Cancer 2014;134(2):384-96.
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An estimated 2-4% of kidney cancers are caused by inherited factors.[1]

Renal cell carcinoma risk is 2.2-2.6 times higher in people with a first-degree relative with kidney cancer, a meta-analysis showed.[2] Renal cell carcinoma risk does not differ significantly between people whose sibling is affected and people whose parent is affected, a cohort study showed.[3]

References

  1. Bausch B, Jilg C, Gläsker S, et al. Renal cancer in von Hippel-Lindau disease and related syndromes. Nat Rev Nephrol 2013;9(9):529-38.
  2. Clague J, Lin J, Cassidy A, et al. Family history and risk of renal cell carcinoma: results from a case-control study and systematic meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18:801-7.
  3. Liu H, Sundquist J, Hemminki K. Familial renal cell carcinoma from the Swedish Family-Cancer Database. Eur Urol 2011;60:987-93.
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