In many cases, the cause of kidney cancer is not known. In some other cases (such as with inherited conditions), even when the cause is known it may not be preventable. But there are some ways you may be able to reduce your risk of this disease.
Cigarette smoking is responsible for a large percentage of cases, so stopping smoking may lower your risk.
Obesity and high blood pressure are also risk factors for renal cell cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight by exercising and choosing a diet high in fruits and vegetables may also reduce your chance of getting this disease.
Avoiding exposure to harmful substances such as trichloroethylene at work, may also reduce your risk for renal cell cancer.
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Correa AF, Lane BR, Rini BI, Uzzo RG. Ch 66 - Cancer of the kidney. In: DeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2019.
Kushi LH, Doyle C, McCullough M, Rock CL, Demark-Wahnefried W, Bandera EV, Gapstur S, Patel AV, Andrews K, Gansler T; American Cancer Society 2010 Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. American Cancer Society Guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012 Jan-Feb;62(1):30-67.
McNamara MA, Zhang T, Harrison MR, George DJ. Ch 79 - Cancer of the kidney. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier: 2020.
National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Renal Cell Cancer Treatment – Patient Version. 2019. https://www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/patient/kidney-treatment pdq. Updated November 8, 2019. Accessed on November 14, 2019.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Kidney Cancer. V.2.2020. Accessed at: www.nccn.org on November 12, 2019.
Last Revised: February 1, 2020