Kidney cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

Routes to diagnosis

'GP referral' is the most common route to diagnosing kidney cancer

Almost a third (31%) of kidney cancer cases in England are diagnosed following a routine or urgent GP referral (but not under the ‘two-week wait’ referral route).[1] Almost 6 in 10 (59%) of these cases with known stage are diagnosed early (stage I or II).[2]

A quarter (25%) of kidney cancer cases in England are diagnosed via the ‘two-week wait’ referral route.[1] Around half (51%) of these cases with known stage are diagnosed early (stage I or II).[2]

Almost a quarter (23%) of kidney cancer cases in England are diagnosed after presenting as an emergency. Around two thirds (67%) of these cases with known stage are diagnosed late (stages III or IV). [2] Two thirds (66%) of emergency presentation cases are via Accident and Emergency (A&E), with the other cases coming via an emergency GP referral, inpatient referral or outpatient referral.[3]

There are variations in routes to diagnosis by sex, age, deprivation and ethnicity.[4]

Kidney Cancer (C64-C66 and C68), Percentage of Cases by Route to Diagnosis, Adults Aged 15-99, England, 2012-2013

Kidney Cancer (C64-C66 and C68), Percentage of Cases by Stage for each Route to Diagnosis, Adults Aged (15-99), England, 2012-2013

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Routes to Diagnosis 2006-2010 workbook (a). London: NCIN; 2013.
  2. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Routes to diagnosis of cancer by stage, 2012-2013 workbook. London: NCIN; 2016.
  3. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Routes to diagnosis 2006-2013 workbook (b). London: NCIN; 2016.
  4. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Routes to diagnosis Site Specific Data Briefings 2006-2013. London: NCIN; 2016.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2012-2013, ICD-10 C64-C66 and C68

Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2012-2013. Staging proportions only include patients with a known stage (cases with an unknown stage at diagnosis are not included in the denominator).

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'14-day / Two-week wait'

England meets the standard for their country on the percentage of patients first seen by a specialist within two weeks of urgent GP referral for suspected cancer.[1]

'Two-week wait' supports early diagnosis as spotting cancer early is important for improving survival, so it is important that patients with potential cancer symptoms are referred promptly.

'31-day wait'

None of the countries in the UK meet the standard for their country on the percentage of patients that receive their first cancer treatment within 31 days of a decision to treat.[1-4]

The speed at which patients receive their first treatment can have a positive outcome on their clinical outcome, so it is important that patients with cancer symptoms are treated promptly.

'62-day wait'

None of the countries in the UK meet the standard for their country on the percentage of patients receiving their first definitive treatment for cancer within two months of a GP referral for suspected cancer.[1-4]

The speed at which patients receive their first treatment can have a positive outcome on their clinical outcome, so it is important that patients with cancer symptoms are treated promptly.

Cancer waiting times coding and standards are different in each country and so comparisons should not be made between countries, only each country against their own measures.

Urological Cancers, Waiting Times, UK countries, 2014-15

    England England (testicular cancer only) Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
'14-day wait': seen by specialist following referral Performance 94.3% 97.0%      
Standard 93% 93%      
Performance against standard Meets standard Meets standard      
'31-day wait': receipt of first treatment following decision to treat Performance 95.3% 91.9% 94.0% 90.8% 89.7%
Standard 96% 96% 98% 95% 98%
Performance against standard Does not meet standard Does not meet standard Does not meet standard Does not meet standard Does not meet standard
'62-day wait': receipt of first treatment following referral Performance 78%   85.5% 85.9% 56.1%
Standard 85%   95% 95% 95%
Performance against standard Does not meet standard   Does not meet standard Does not meet standard Does not meet standard

Data for '14-day' and '31-day wait' in England also for testicular cancer separately.

References

  1. NHS England. Cancer waiting times.  Accessed May 2015.
  2. StatsWales. Cancer waiting times. Accessed May 2015. 
  3. ISD Scotland. Cancer Waiting Times. Accessed June 2015. 
  4. Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Cancer Waiting Times. Accessed June 2015.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2014-15, ICD-10 C60-C68

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Bladder cancer is part of the group 'Urological cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: penis, prostate, testis, other and unspecified male genital organs, kidney, renal pelvis, ureter, bladder, other and unspecified urinary organs, secondary cancers of kidney, renal pelvis, bladder and other unspecified urinary organs.

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56% of patients diagnosed with kidney cancer in England during 2013-2014 had surgery to remove their primary tumour, as part of their primary cancer treatment.[1] This includes patients who had surgery alone, and those who also had other treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Surgery not intending to remove the tumour, including biopsies or other palliative surgery, is not included in this figure.

The proportion of kidney cancer patients having surgery to remove their primary tumour is strongly influenced by stage at diagnosis. 

Other factors are also important, such as whether the patient is generally well enough to tolerate the treatment, the patient’s age, and their own treatment preference.

Kidney Cancer (C64-C66, C68), Percentage of Patients Receiving Surgery to Remove the Tumour in the 6 Months After Diagnosis, Persons, All ages, England, 2013-2014

Stage at diagnosis Percentage of patients
All stages combined 56.4%
Stage 1 69.5%
Stage 2 78.2%
Stage 3 87.9%
Stage 4 27.4%
Unknown stage 39.9%

References

  1. National Cancer Registration & Analysis Service and Cancer Research UK: "Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Tumour Resections in England: 2013-2014" workbook. London: NCRAS; 2017.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2013-2014, ICD-10 C64-C66, C68

Tumour removal surgery includes any surgical attempt to remove the whole of the primary tumour in the 6 months after diagnosis.

The percentage of patients having surgery to remove their tumour do not equal 100%, as patients are able to have more than one type of treatment, as well as other treatments not included in this data, for example hormonal therapy.

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8% of patients diagnosed with kidney cancer in England during 2013-2014 had curative or palliative radiotherapy, as part of their primary cancer treatment.[1] This includes patients who had radiotherapy alone, and those who also had other treatments such as surgery to remove the tumour, or chemotherapy.

The proportion of kidney cancer patients having radiotherapy is strongly influenced by stage at diagnosis.

Other factors are also important, such as whether the patient is generally well enough to tolerate the treatment, the patient’s age, and their own treatment preference.

Kidney Cancer (C64-C66, C68), Percentage of Patients Receiving Radiotherapy in the 12 Months After Diagnosis, Persons, All ages, England, 2013-2014

Stage at diagnosis Percentage of patients
All stages combined 8.0%
Stage 1 1.1%
Stage 2 3.2%
Stage 3 4.0%
Stage 4 26.3%
Unknown stage 5.8%

References

  1. National Cancer Registration & Analysis Service and Cancer Research UK: "Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Tumour Resections in England: 2013-2014" workbook. London: NCRAS; 2017.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2013-2014, ICD-10 C64-C66, C68

Radiotherapy includes both curative and palliative teletherapy procedures (excluding Brachytherapy and Contact Radiotherapy) started in the 12 months after diagnosis.

The percentage of patients having radiotherapy do not equal 100%, as patients are able to have more than one type of treatment, as well as other treatments not included in this data, for example hormonal therapy.

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13% of patients diagnosed with kidney cancer in England in 2013-2014 had curative or palliative chemotherapy, as part of their primary cancer treatment.[1] This includes patients who had chemotherapy alone, and those who also had other treatments such as tumour removal surgery or radiotherapy.

The proportion of kidney cancer patients having chemotherapy is strongly influenced by stage at diagnosis.

Other factors are also important, such as whether the patient is generally well enough to tolerate the treatment, the patient’s age, and their own treatment preference.

Kidney Cancer (C64-C66, C68), Percentage of Patients Receiving Chemotherapy in the 12 Months After Diagnosis, Persons, All ages, England, 2013-2014

Stage at diagnosis Percentage of patients
All stages combined 12.8%
Stage 1 1.9%
Stage 2 6.7%
Stage 3 10.9%
Stage 4 38.1%
Unknown stage 9.5%

References

  1. National Cancer Registration & Analysis Service and Cancer Research UK: "Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Tumour Resections in England: 2013-2014" workbook. London: NCRAS; 2017.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2013-2014, ICD-10 C64-C66, C68

Chemotherapy includes both curative and palliative chemotherapy (excluding Hormonal therapy, and other supportive drugs such as Zoledronic acid, Pamidronate, Denosumab) started in the 12 months after diagnosis.

The percentage of patients having chemotherapy do not equal 100%, as patients are able to have more than one type of treatment, as well as other treatments not included in this data, for example hormonal therapy.

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The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey monitors patients’ self-reported satisfaction with each step of the cancer pathway in England, providing information to drive improvements in cancer care.[1] The survey has been conducted annually since 2010.

Overall, most cancer patients in England report positive experiences of cancer care. However patient experience varies along the cancer pathway, and by gender, ethnicity, age, deprivation, and cancer type. Satisfaction scores tend to be higher for experiences with Clinical Nurse Specialists and other hospital staff, and lower for experiences with GPs and general practice staff. Patients who report more positive experiences of cancer diagnosis and treatment tend to be male, white, older, and less deprived.

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