Can simple kidney cysts be prevented?

Simple kidney cysts cannot be prevented. You can reduce your risk by drinking plenty of water and making sure you use less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day (less than 1,500 mg if you are older than 51, African-American, or have high blood pressure or long-term kidney disease).

Does a simple kidney cyst need to be watched over time?

It is very important that a specialist evaluate the type and location of the kidney cysts. There are often characteristics – such as wall thickness, calcifications, fluid density, and irregular borders of the cyst – that may make it more likely to be associated with a kidney cancer. Urologists use a grading system for cysts called the Bozniak Scoring System (named after the doctor who first described it). Higher Bozniak grades are associated with a greater chance for kidney cancer. Bozniak grade 1 cysts are virtually always benign (not cancer).

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