There are no recommended screening tests for kidney cancer, except for people who are at high risk. A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease such as cancer, but risk factors do not tell us everything. Having one or more risk factors does not mean you will definitely get kidney cancer, and having no risk factors does not mean you cannot get it.

Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer
Researchers are still trying to determine a direct cause of kidney cancer, but it has been linked to several risk factors according to the American Cancer Society:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a family history of kidney cancer or von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, a rare disease caused by changes in the VHL gene. 

Screening Tests for Kidney Cancer
Be sure to tell your doctor if members of your family (blood relatives) have or had kidney cancer, especially at a younger age, or if they have been diagnosed with an inherited condition linked to kidney cancer, such as von Hippel-Lindau disease. 

If you are shown to be at heightened risk for kidney cancer, your doctor will likely recommend genetic testing. Only people who have clinical signs of these conditions or blood relatives with these clinical signs are genetically tested for these conditions. Our continued commitment to research enables us to improve present and future cancer care. Learn more about our current cancer-related clinical trials.