Kidney cancer rates rise by 30% in the last decade
Kidney cancer rates have soared by 30 per cent since the early 2000s, according to new figures by Cancer Research UK.
The rates of people diagnosed have risen from 9 in every 100,000 to 12 in every 100,000 in the last decade. For the first time 10,000 cases in one year have been reported, compared to 6,900 a decade ago.
Kidney cancer is now the eighth most common cancer in the UK, and each year 4,200 people die from the disease.
Professor Tim Eisen, a Cancer Research UK clinician based at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, said: “These figures show a worrying rise in kidney cancer in the last decade and emphasise how crucial more research into better treatments for kidney cancer is.
“To address the growing problem we’re running several trials to make sure these kidney cancer patients have the best possible treatment options”.
There was little distinction seen with age as all age groups saw an increase in rates, although the largest was seen in those aged 80 and over.
Experts believe that obesity is one of the main reasons for this sharp increase, and smoking has also been proposed as a risk factor.
More cases are now detected through new imaging methods such as ultrasound and computed tomography (CT). These can pick up cancers before patients have noticed any symptoms.
Kate Law, Cancer Research UK’s director of clinical trials, said: “This increase in kidney cancers highlights how important it is to tackle this disease. We must continue to encourage people to be aware of the risk factors and to quit smoking in particular”.
Eisen concluded: “As well as finding better treatments, more needs to be done to catch this cancer as early as possible. Half of the patients we see are diagnosed incidentally when they have come in for other health problems.
“The best possible chance of survival comes from being aware of the potential symptoms, such as blood in the urine, and getting this checked out by your GP”.
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