Renal cancerIntroduction

Keeping serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels above 40-60 ng/mL would reduce risk by 15-25% and increase survival after diagnosis.

Kidney (or renal) cancer affects 61,000 Americans annually and kills 13,000 1.

It is one of the approximately 20 vitamin D-sensitive types of cancer.  

Evidence from ecological (geographical) studies of renal cancer mortality rates are lower in areas where people have more exposure to solar ultraviolet B radiation.  

Based on analogy with the geographical variation of breast cancer mortality rates, it seems that keeping serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels above 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L)  might reduce risk by 15-25% and increase survival after diagnosis.

Known risk factors for renal clear cell cancer are obesity, smoking, hypertension and male gender2 3 and increased risk of renal cancer has also been linked to exposure to chemicals such as pesticides4 and diet high in animal products2.

Page last edited: 01 July 2011


  1. Siegel, R. Ward, E. Brawley, O. Jemal, A. Cancer statistics, 2011: The impact of eliminating socioeconomic and racial disparities on premature cancer deaths. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians. 2011 Jun 17;
  2. Mohr, S. B. Gorham, E. D. Garland, C. F. Grant, W. B. Garland, F. C. Are low ultraviolet B and high animal protein intake associated with risk of renal cancer?. Int J Cancer. 2006 Dec 1; 119 (11): 2705-9.
  3. Aviner S The epidemiology of renal cell carcinoma. J Urol. 2007; 178 (3 Pt 1): 1120-1.
  4. Hu, J. Mao, Y. White, K. Renal cell carcinoma and occupational exposure to chemicals in Canada. Occup Med (Lond). 2002 May; 52 (3): 157-64.