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Kidney, Renal Cancer

Kidney cancer is primarily a disease of older adults, particularly those age 65 years and older. It occurs twice as commonly in men than women, and often is diagnosed early enough for a relatively effective treatment and good prognosis. Little is known about the causes of kidney cancer, but two risk factors, smoking and obesity have consistently been found to increase the risk for kidney cancer.
About 323 new cases of Kidney cancer were diagnosed in New Mexico year 2013. Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. The rate at which bladder cancer is newly diagnosed in New Mexico increasing over the past 20 years.
In New Mexico, about 64% of cases occur in males and 50% among persons aged 65 years and older. The remaining 50% of cases occur primarily in persons aged 40-64 years.
Factors that can increase the risk of kidney cancer include the following:
  • Older age: Your risk of kidney cancer increases as you age.
  • Smoking: Smokers have a greater risk of kidney cancer than nonsmokers do. The risk decreases after you quit.
  • Obesity: People who are obese have a higher risk of kidney cancer than do people who are considered average weight.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension): High blood pressure increases your risk of kidney cancer, but it isn't clear why
  • Chemicals in your workplace: Workers who are exposed to certain chemicals on the job may have a higher risk of kidney cancer. People who work with chemicals such as organic solvents may have an increased risk of kidney cancer.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease: People with this inherited disorder are likely to develop several kinds of tumors, including, in some cases, kidney cancer.
  • Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma: Having this inherited condition makes it more likely you'll develop one or more kidney cancers.
  • Men are more likely to develop kidney cancer than women.
You can learn about known and probable carcinogens from Known and Probable Human Carcinogens at (external site).
You may be able to reduce your risk for kidney cancer by avoiding known risk factors for the disease. For example:
  • Do not smoke. Cigarette smoking is responsible for a large number of cases, and stopping smoking may lower your risk. If you do smoke talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting. Medications and counseling are available to help you quit. You can also call the 1-800-QUIT NOW (1 800-784-8669) hotline to access cessation services available to New Mexicans. Services include sessions in English or Spanish, programs for adults and youth, free cessation items and a personal quit plan.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. You can support this by exercising and choosing a diet high in fruits and vegetables. If you are overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about strategies to help you lose weight. Aim for a slow and steady weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week.
  • Getting treatment for high blood pressure may also lower your chance of getting this type of cancer. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.
  • Finally, avoid exposure to large amounts of chemicals such as organic solvents.
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Content updated: Thu, 4 Jun 2020 16:26:03 MDT