Epidemiology of Kidney Cancer

Alessandra Rubagotti, Giuseppe Martorana, Francesco M. Boccardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This paper reviews present evidence concerning kidney cancer epidemiology. Methods: The review was based on the most recent and relevant papers reported in the literature. Results: Kidney cancer is one of the most important urologic cancers because of high lethality and increasing incidence in most countries. There were approximately 189,000 kidney cancers in 2000 worldwide, two thirds of which occurred in developed countries. In the United States, age-adjusted incidence rates of 16.2/100,000 in men and 8.0/100,000 in women were recorded during 1998-2002. In Europe the highest incidence of kidney cancer is observed in eastern European countries and Germany. Lower rates are reported in most Asian and African populations and some South American populations. Corresponding mortality rates in the United States are 6.1/100,000 in men and 2.8/100,000 in women. In Europe, again, the highest mortality is reported for eastern Europe countries and Germany. Established risk factors include cigarette smoking, obesity, and hypertension. A higher risk of renal cancer has been also reported in men on haemodialysis and in recipients of kidney transplants or in individuals treated with radiation for ankylosing spondylitis or cervical cancer. Data concerning dietary factors, occupational exposures, and the use of analgesics are more controversial. Genetic factors play a major role in hereditary kidney cancer but are likely to be involved also in sporadic cancer aetiology. Conclusions: Further research is required to clarify the epidemiologic relevance of these factors in cancer prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-565
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Urology, Supplements
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Epidemiology
  • Kidney cancer
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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