The kidneys are a pair of organs located at the back of the abdomen outside the peritoneal cavity. They filter waste products and water from the blood, producing urine, which empties into the bladder through the ureters. Kidney cancer – also known as renal cell cancer (RCC)– is the 14th most common cancer worldwide, with over 400,000 cases in 2018.1 Signs of kidney cancer may include blood in urine, persistent pain in your back or side, loss of appetite, lethargy, intermittent fever, and/or unexplained weight loss. A few risk factors for kidney cancer include:2
- Family history
- Gender: RCC is twice as common in men than in women.
- Race: African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives have slightly higher rates of RCC than do Caucasians.
- High blood pressure
- Genetic & Hereditary Risk Factors: Those with von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, or hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma have an increased risk of kidney cancer.
- Chemical Exposure: Workplace exposures to certain substances (e.g. cadmium-a type of metal, some herbicides and organic solvents, specifically trichloroethylene).