How common is kidney cancer?

Recent studies have shown that kidney cancer is on the rise – what can you do to prevent?

New Be Clear on Cancer campaign launched to increase early diagnoses and save lives.

More people are being diagnosed with and dying from kidney cancer in England today, compared to 10 years ago according to latest figures. Incidence rates have increased by 31% over the last 10 years and mortality rates have increased by 7% over the last decade, with around 3,500 people dying from kidney cancer in England in 2011.

Of those diagnosed with kidney cancer, approximately 71% will survive for at least 1 year, with around 54% surviving for at least 5 years. However, the earlier kidney cancer is diagnosed the higher the chance of survival – when diagnosed at the earliest stage, 1-year survival is as high as 92 to 97% compared to just 25 to 32% at a late stage.

Spotting the signs as early as possible

One of the reasons people do not receive an early diagnosis is believed to be the public’s lack of awareness of key symptoms. Blood in pee – even if it appears just the once – could be a symptom of both bladder and kidney cancer. However, a recent survey shows that the public don’t recognise the seriousness of the sign – almost a third (30%) of people would wait and see if they spotted blood in their pee again before taking any action, which could delay their diagnosis.

These figures have been released as a new NHS Be Clear on Cancer campaign launches today, to drive awareness of blood in pee as a key symptom of bladder and kidney cancers, and encourage people to visit their GP if they spot the symptom, even just the once.

Visible blood in pee is a key symptom in more than eight in ten bladder cancers and over half of kidney cancer patients. However, when asked to name cancer signs and symptoms, only a third (33%) of people mention unexplained bleeding.