Kidney cancer is more prevalent among males than females. Although the symptoms and treatment options for kidney cancer are similar regardless of sex, the outlook tends to be less good for males.
According to the
This article describes the common symptoms and possible causes of kidney cancer in males. It also outlines the risk factors and current research that might explain why more males than females get kidney cancer.
The symptoms of kidney cancer are similar for males and females. They
- blood in the urine
- a lump or swelling in the abdomen
- pain in the lower back or side
- a feeling of fullness in the side or flanks
- persistent fever
- appetite loss
- unexplained weight loss
- a feeling that something is blocking the bowels
- general malaise
The symptoms above can have other causes. If a person has one or more of these symptoms, they should talk with a doctor to rule out cancer.
Genetic mutations can have different causes, and most people will not find out the cause of their kidney cancer. However, certain risk factors make kidney cancer more likely to occur.
Research has discovered important risk factors for developing kidney cancer. The
- high blood pressure
- family history of kidney cancer
- workplace exposure to certain substances, such as trichloroethylene
- race, as non-Hispanic Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native people have a
higherincidence and mortality rate from kidney cancer than non-Hispanic white people
- certain medications, such as acetaminophen
- advanced kidney disease
- genetic and hereditary risk factors
Some hereditary syndromes can also make kidney cancer more likely. These
- von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome
- hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer
- hereditary papillary renal cancer
Studies suggest that males are
Female sex hormones
One partial explanation is that female hormones, such as estrogen, may play a
As males are
Genetic differences between males and females could also
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a known risk factor for kidney cancer and kidney disease, and it is
Hypertension also has indirect links with kidney cancer. Firstly, medications for hypertension may increase the risk of kidney cancer. Secondly, hypertension is a risk factor for kidney disease, and impaired kidney function can increase the risk of kidney cancer.
Although having obesity is a risk factor for kidney cancer for both sexes, the risks are
Kidney cancer treatment options include:
- partial nephrectomy, in which a surgeon removes a tumor from the kidney
- simple nephrectomy, which involves a surgeon removing an entire kidney
- radical nephrectomy, where the surgeon removes a kidney, the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes, and the adrenal gland
- radiation therapy
There is evidence that males are
Across all stages of kidney cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate in the United States is
By stage, the 5-year relative survival rates are as follows:
- Localized: When cancer is only in the kidneys, the 5-year survival rate is 93%.
- Regional: When cancer has spread to nearby tissues, the rate is 71%.
- Distant: If cancer has spread throughout the body and is present in other organs, the rate is 14%.
These figures are based on people who received a kidney cancer diagnosis between 2011 and 2017. People who receive a diagnosis now may have a better outlook because treatments improve over time.
Kidney cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and it affects males more often than females.
Kidney cancer tends to be more aggressive in males, often having less positive outcomes than kidney cancer in females.
Smoking, hypertension, and obesity are among the known risk factors for kidney cancer. Males are more likely to smoke and have hypertension than females, which might partly explain the difference in the rates of kidney cancer.