Kidney Cancer

  • Lee E. Moore
  • Patricia A. Stewart
  • Sara Karami


Malignant tumors of the kidney account for approximately 2 % of all new primary cancer cases diagnosed in the United States (US) and worldwide. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) of the renal parenchyma accounts for over 80 % of all kidney cancers, the majority of which are adenocarcinomas that arise from the renal parenchyma. RCC is divided into distinct histological subtypes, clear cell being the most prevalent (80–85 %) followed by papillary RCC (10 %). Less common subtypes of kidney cancer include oncocytoma and chromophobe tumors. Another histological subtype of kidney cancer is transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) which is most often located in the renal pelvis. Histologically, these tumors are considered more similar to TCC of the bladder. In RCC, the major etiologic risk factors that are thought to explain approximately 50 % of cases include cigarette smoking, obesity (high body mass index or BMI), hypertension, and diabetes. The increasing prevalence of these risk factors may explain temporal variations in renal cancer incidence rates by country/region and within particular subpopulations. While the etiologic factors associated with the remaining 50 % of renal cancer cases are for the most part unexplained, other risk factors that have been described in the literature include analgesic use, long-term hemodialysis, hormonal/reproductive factors, variations in diet, family history of renal cancer, and genetic factors. Although not generally considered an occupationally related cancer, several studies have pointed towards occupational and environmental exposures; many associations, however, remain inconclusive. The current review will focus upon renal cancer risk associated with exposure to various agents in the workplace that are suspected of being renal carcinogens. Initial studies we present will evaluate historical exposures using job and industry titles, in which exposures to carcinogens were “likely” to be encountered in the workplace. Subsequently, to reduce speculation and exposure misclassification, higher-quality studies that used more sophisticated exposure assessment techniques (i.e., expert-assessed or actual industrial hygiene measurements) will be presented.


Kidney cancer Occupation Solvents Trichloroethylene Metals Cadmium Lead Pesticides Diesel auto fumes Asbestos Ultraviolet (UV) exposure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee E. Moore
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Stewart
    • 2
  • Sara Karami
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and GeneticsNational Cancer Institute, National Institutes of HealthRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Stewart Exposure Assessments, LLCArlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and GeneticsNational Cancer InstituteRockvilleUSA

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