UK kidney cancer rates have soared by 30 per cent since the early 2000s according to the latest figures published by Cancer Research UK.
Over the last decade, the rates of people diagnosed have risen from 9 in every 100,000 to 12 people in every 100,000 now. This means that cases hit 10,000 a year for the first time, up from around 6,900 a decade ago.
But, more cases are also detected through new imaging methods, such as ultrasound and computed tomography (CT), which can pick up cancers before patients have noticed any symptoms.
Kidney cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the UK. Each year 4,200 people die from the disease.
Professor Tim Eisen, 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.
“But 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.”
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. Cancer Research UK is funding a range of trials to develop new treatments and improve existing ones for the disease.”