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01-01-2015 | Renal cell carcinoma | Article

1. Epidemiology of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Authors: MD, MS Sujata Narayanan, MD Priti H. Patel, MD Alice Fan, MD Sandy Srinivas

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


Incidence rates of renal cell carcinoma, the predominant form of kidney cancer, have been rising for several decades worldwide. In the United States, this is partly reflected by the increase in reports of incidental diagnosis, including diagnosis of early-stage and smaller tumors. These patterns are likely due to increased diagnostic capability with imaging techniques. However, the interplay of genetic and environmental factors may account for the geographic, racial, and gender variation of renal cell carcinoma prevalence. The most established risk factors are smoking, excess body weight, and hypertension. Family history is associated with a two- to fourfold increase in risk, but the inherited syndromes together account for less than 4 % of renal cell carcinomas. Several genes, such as VHL and MET, have been identified through investigation of familial kidney cancer syndromes and have been targets for therapy. Other risk factors such as reproductive and hormonal factors, occupational exposures, and dietary habits have also been implicated, but the evidence remains inconclusive. The multifactorial nature of renal cell carcinoma requires that further studies are conducted to explain underlying factors that may influence individual risk and to elucidate complex relationships between potential genetic, lifestyle, and environmental elements on cancer development.

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