Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Urology and Andrology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Kidney cancer is among the 10 most frequently occurring cancers in Western communities. Globally, about 270 000 cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed yearly and 116 000 people die from the disease. Approximately 90% of all kidney cancers are renal cell carcinomas (RCC).
The causes of RCC are not completely known. We have reviewed known aetiologic factors.
The data provided in the current review are based on a thorough review of available original and review articles on RCC epidemiology with a systemic literature search using Medline.
Smoking, overweight and obesity, and germline mutations in specific genes are established risk factors for RCC. Hypertension and advanced kidney disease, which makes dialysis necessary, also increase RCC risk. Specific dietary habits and occupational exposure to specific carcinogens are suspected risk factors, but results in the literature are inconclusive. Alcohol consumption seems to have a protective effect for reasons yet unknown. Hardly any information is available for some factors that may have a high a priori role in the causation of RCC, such as salt consumption.
Large collaborative studies with uniform data collection seem to be necessary to elucidate a complete list of established risk factors of RCC. This is necessary to make successful prevention possible for a disease that is diagnosed frequently in a stage where curative treatment is not possible anymore.
Ljungberg B, Campbell SC, Cho HY, Jacqmin D, Lee JE, Weikert S, Kiemeney LA. Are you the author?
Reference: Eur Urol. 2011 Jul 5. Epub ahead of print.