Risk factors for adult renal cell carcinoma

Urol Clin North Am. 2004 May;31(2):237-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ucl.2004.01.004.


This study confirmed several independent risk and protective factors for RCC identified in the authors' previous study. Protective factors such as oral contraceptive use and moderate alcohol consumption were identified only in women. Tobacco consumption and severe obesity were the main independent risk factors. There were other modifiable risk markers, however, such as occupational exposure, thiazidic drug intake, and urinary tract infections. The associations between risk factors and RCC were weak, even for tobacco, for which the association was weaker than that for lung cancer. The identified risks involve a large proportion of the population, however, and the risk attributable to these types of exposure is high. The authors' recommendations for the prevention of RCC are therefore similar to those for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and should be disseminated to the general population. The high-risk groups identified are too large for a specific early-screening program for RCC, but such screening might be appropriate if restricted to selected age groups.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / etiology*
  • Coffee / adverse effects
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Calculi / complications
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Survival Analysis
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications


  • Coffee
  • Contraceptives, Oral