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Can Kidney Cancer Be Prevented?

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There is no sure way to prevent kidney cancer. Some kidney cancer risk factors such as your race/ethnicity and family history can’t be controlled. But there are some things you can do that might lower your risk of kidney cancer.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for a large percentage of kidney cancers, so if you smoke, stopping may help lower your risk.

Excess body weight is also a risk factor for renal cell cancer. Doing your best to stay at a healthy weight by being active and eating a healthy diet may help lower your chances of getting kidney cancer.

Avoiding exposure to harmful substances such as trichloroethylene at work may also reduce your risk for renal cell cancer.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Atkins MB, Bakouny Z, Choueiri TK. Epidemiology, pathology, and pathogenesis of renal cell carcinoma. UpToDate. 2023. Accessed at on December 5, 2023.

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.

Rock CL, Thomson C, Gansler T, et al. American Cancer Society guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020 Jul;70(4):245-271.


Last Revised: May 1, 2024

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