In most cases, the etiology is unknown.
The most important known etiological factors are tobacco, high blood pressure, and obesity (7,8).
Kidney cancer may be associated with other disease and anomalies in the kidney, such as situs inversus, supranumerary kidney or renal cysts (both acquired and hereditary types).
The danger for developing kidney cancer is 10 - 50 times higher in those with kidney disease or renal cysts.
Kidney cancer is hereditary in less than 1% of cases, either as part of von Hippel-Lindau's syndrome or familial. In these cases, the tumors often occur bilaterally and in younger ages. In patients with polycystic kidney disease, an increase in frequency of renal cell carcinoma is seen in both acquired and hereditary types.