The causes of kidney cancer, or renal cell carcinoma, are unknown, according to The Mayo Clinic. There are, however, several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of contracting kidney cancer.
When some of the kidney's cells acquire DNA mutations, the mutated cells begin rapid growth and division. These form a tumor that can spread from the kidney to other parts of the body.
Several risk factors make it more likely for the development ofrenal cell carcinoma, including smoking, high blood pressure, dialysis treatment, obesity and advanced age. In addition, people may inherit syndromes thatincrease their risk of kidney cancer, such as Hippel-Lindau disease and Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome.