Risk Factors and Symptoms
It’s important for people to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors for kidney cancer, particularly those individuals with a family history of the disease.
Risk factors for kidney cancer include:
- Smoking – Smokers develop kidney cancer more often than nonsmokers do
- Workplace exposure to some industrial chemicals, including the solvent trichloroethylene, aristolochic acid, and the metal cadmium
- Gender – Men develop kidney cancer at nearly twice the rate women do
- Age – The average age of people diagnosed with kidney cancer is 64
- Advanced kidney disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Genetic conditions that can lead to familial renal cancer, such as von Hippel-Lindau disease, hereditary papillary renal-cell carcinoma, hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal-cell carcinoma, Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome and, as discovered by our own investigators, germline BAP1 mutations
Early-stage kidney cancer doesn’t always exhibit symptoms. People who do have symptoms with kidney cancer may experience:
- Blood in the urine
- Non-injury-related pain in one side of the lower back
- A lump on the lower back or side
- Unexplained fatigue or weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Prolonged and unexplained fever
See a doctor if you experience symptoms of kidney cancer.
When appropriate, patients can meet with our clinical geneticists, who can help determine if there is a familial risk for kidney cancer that could affect relatives.
Request an Appointment
To schedule a visit with a kidney cancer specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.