What Causes Kidney Cancer?

Many people wonder what causes kidney cancer. While it is a common form of cancer, the precise causes remain unclear. Physicians have determined that mutations in kidney cells can cause those cells to divide and grow rapidly, triggering the development and growth of tumors. However, what remains less straightforward is the reason why kidney cells begin to mutate.

Researchers have not been able to say with certainty precisely what causes kidney cancer, but there is evidence that the condition could be linked to:

  • Genetics – DNA abnormalities that increase the risk of developing kidney cancer can be passed from generation to generation. Von Hippel-Lindau disease, for instance, is a genetic disorder that increases the risk of developing tumors, including renal cell carcinoma – a form of kidney cancer.
  • Environmental factors – During a person’s lifetime, genes can mutate due to certain environmental factors, like exposure to radiation or carcinogens such as tobacco smoke.
  • Random cellular events – Transformations can occur within kidney cells and cause those cells to become cancerous for no apparent reason.

Moffitt Cancer Center is renowned for our groundbreaking clinical trials and research, all of which move us closer to more fully understanding what causes kidney cancer. Our collaborative approach to cancer treatment and patient care enables us to take the information we uncover through our research efforts and apply it directly to our patients’ treatments. For these reasons and more, Moffitt Cancer Center has been designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute – the only one based in Florida. Contact Moffitt Cancer Center by calling 1-888-MOFFITT or by filling out our convenient online new patient registration form to learn more about what causes kidney cancer and the ways we can treat it. No referral is necessary to meet with the kidney cancer team of Moffitt’s Urologic Oncology Program.