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 gender23 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.