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  • What is kidney and renal cancer?
    • Kidney cancer is a cancer that forms in tissues of the kidneys. Some types of kidney cancer include:

      * renal cell carcinoma; cancer that forms in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney that remove waste from blood;
      * renal pelvis carcinoma; cancer that forms in the center of the kidney where urine collects; and
      * Wilms tumor; a type of kidney cancer that usually develops in children under the age of 5.

      Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women.

  • How are kidney and renal cancer related to the environment?
    • Research is needed to better understand the connection between the environment and kidney cancer. However, the kidney’s main function of removing waste from our blood puts it at higher risk to the effects of harmful substances in our body. This includes environmental contaminants we come into contact with during our lifetime. Studies have shown that some people exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE) or arsenic, through contaminated drinking water for example, may be at an increased risk for kidney cancer.

  • What are the risk factors for kidney and renal cancer?
    • People with the following risk factors may be more likely than others to develop kidney cancer:
      * smoking,
      * exposure to certain hazardous substances, such as arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, some herbicides, benzene, and trichloroethylene (TCE),
      * obesity,
      * high blood pressure, and
      * family history of kidney cancer.

  • How do you prevent kidney and renal cancer? Can this be a bulleted list like above?
    • You may be able to reduce your risk for kidney cancer by avoiding known risk factors for the disease. Cigarette smoking is responsible for a large number of cases, and stopping smoking may lower your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight by exercising and choosing a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and getting treatment for high blood pressure may also lower your chance of getting this type of cancer. Finally, avoid workplace exposure to large amounts of harmful substances such as cadmium, asbestos, and organic solvents.

Last Revised: January 28, 2014


Data Query

Kidney and Renal Cancer Data:
Access the thyroid cancer data in the WI EPHT online database. Review the Data Details below to learn about interpreting the data.

The WI EPHT online database has data about other specific cancers:

Data Details

What is the data source?

The website provides data from the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System, which is maintained by the Office of Health Informatics, Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

How does WI EPHT measure cancer?

The WI EPHT website includes the following measures:

  • counts for each cancer type
  • age adjusted rate for each cancer type

What are some considerations for interpreting the data?

While significant effort is made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data, there are limitations that are listed below:

  • Reporting may be less complete from rural versus urban areas of the state.
  • Reporting may be less complete for cases where diagnosis and/or treatment occurs in a different state.
  • Reporting completeness is different depending on the type of cancer.

There are many factors that can contribute to a disease and should be considered when interpreting the data. Some of these include:

  • Demographics, e.g., race, gender, age
  • Socioeconomic Status, e.g., income level, education
  • Geographic, e.g., urban vs. rural
  • Changes in the medical field, e.g., diagnosis patterns, reporting requirements
  • Individual behavior, e.g., diet, smoking