Prior cancer diagnosis ups future renal cancer risk

May 25, 2005

Patients who have other primary cancers have increased risk for renal cancer, the authors of a retrospective study reported yesterday. But while physicians should be alert to the possibility of renal cancer, the risk is not high enough to warrant that all patients in this population should be screened, the authors advise.

Patients who have other primary cancers have increased risk for renal cancer, the authors of a retrospective study reported yesterday. But while physicians should be alert to the possibility of renal cancer, the risk is not high enough to warrant that all patients in this population should be screened, the authors advise.

Lead author Joel W. Slaton, MD, assistant professor of urology, University of Minnesota, reviewed a cancer database of 1.3 million patients diagnosed between 1973 and 1993. He found that patients who have a prior cancer are two to five times more likely to be identified with a renal tumor. A patient's risk of developing another tumor of some other origin is about 9%. The chance that it will be a renal cancer is 0.06%.

According to Dr. Slaton, patients with prostate or lung cancer had the highest risk for being identified with kidney cancer (3.5- to 4.5-fold, respectively). That is compared with a 2.5-fold increased risk of patients with head and neck cancer. Further, men with lung and colon cancer were more likely (3.9- and 4.5-fold, respectively) than women (2.6- and 1.9-fold, respectively) to develop renal cancer after primary cancer.