Study Notes Weight Gain as Possible Risk Factor for Kidney Cancers


While it is generally impossible to determine one specific reason that leads to a person developing cancer, research has highlighted several factors that can influence this risk.  These include age, family history, exposure to chemicals or other substances, nutrition, lifestyle choice, levels of activity and many more.  One recent study now points to a number of weight-related factors that could be added to the list.

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) continues to be one of the most common forms of malignancy in the world and the American Cancer Society estimates about 74,000 new cases each year.  Even though the average age of patients diagnosed is around 64, it’s never too early to start thinking about your health.


This study provided robust and confirmatory evidence of the important role of obesity and diastolic blood pressure as important risk factors of RCC and novel evidence of an important role of circulating insulin in the disease’s etiology”, said Spectrum Health urologist Richard Kahnoski, MD.  “But further research is needed to fully understand these important relationships”.

Together with his team, Dr.  Kahnoski investigated genetic markers from multiple centers in a genome-wide association study of 10,784 RCC patients and 20,406 control participants.  Measurements included blood pressure, lipid levels, symptoms of type 2 diabetes, insulin and glucose scores, all known possible variables.

Overall, diastolic blood pressure and fasting insulin seemed to have a notable effect.  In contrast, the study found little evidence for an association with RCC risk for systolic blood pressure, circulating lipids, diabetes or fasting glucose.

Participates with normal average weight typically had lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, resulting in a weaker association with risk factors.

It’s important to note that having a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, maintaining some activity levels throughout a week, can significantly reduce the chances of developing cancer.