Kidney Cancer linked to exposure to Coal Tar Pitch

Information Provided By Our Kidney Cancer Attorney

Image of a surgeryKidney cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the kidney.

Cancer occurs when normal cells undergo a transformation in which they grow and multiply without normal controls. Eventually, the cancer cells grow into masses called tumors. Tumors are cancerous only if they are malignant. Malignant means that because of the tumor’s uncontrolled growth it encroaches on and invades neighboring tissue. Benign tumors, although they may grow and penetrate below the surface layer of tissue, do not spread by metastasis to other parts of the body.

Malignant tumors may spread to neighboring tissues by direct invasion or by traveling along lymphatic vessels and nerves or through the blood stream. This process of invading and spreading to other organs is called metastasis.

Kidney cancer can be caused by coal tar pitch exposure, exposure to creosote, or exposure to other chemicals.

Coal tar pitch is a by-product of burning coal and is a key ingredient in the manufacture of anode blocks. It is considered a human carcinogen by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Workers in the aluminum industry or who worked around coke ovens were likely exposed to coal tar pitch. It is also used on creosote railroad ties and on utility poles.

Other conditions linked to coal tar pitch exposure include bladder cancer, and cancers like basal and squamous skin cancer.

Risk Factors For Kidney Cancer Include:

  • Being exposed to certain substances at work, i.e. coal tar pitch or creosote.
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Misuse of pain medication
  • Having certain genetic conditions.

Common Kidney Cancer Symptoms Include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Lump in the abdomen
  • Pain in the side that does not go away
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Anemia

*These and other symptoms may be caused by kidney cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. This is not an all-inclusive list, nor should this list be used to self-diagnose.

If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer and worked around creosote, coal tar pitch or other hazardous chemicals, contact our cancer attorneys today.