Kidney cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of kidney cancer, 2012, UK

Deaths

Deaths from kidney cancer, 2012, UK

Survival

Survive kidney cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Prevention

Preventable cases of kidney cancer, UK

  • There were around 10,400 new cases of kidney cancer in the UK in 2012, that’s around 28 people every day.
  • Kidney cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the UK (2012).
  • Kidney cancer accounts for 3% of all new cases in the UK (2012).
  • In men, kidney cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the UK, with around 6,500 cases diagnosed in 2012.
  • In women, kidney cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the UK, with around 3,900 cases diagnosed in 2012.
  • More than a third (35%) of cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over.
  • Since the late-1970s, kidney cancer incidence rates have more than doubled (149% increase) in Great Britain.
  • Over the last decade, kidney cancer incidence rates have increased by around a third (34%) in the UK.
  • Most kidney cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage.
  • Most kidney cancers occur in the kidney itself.
  • In Europe, more than 115,000 new cases of kidney cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is 19th lowest in Europe for males and 17th highest for females.
  • Worldwide, around 338,000 people were diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
  • 1 in 52 men and 1 in 87 women will be diagnosed with kidney cancer during their lifetime.

Read more in-depth kidney cancer incidence statistics

  • Kidney cancer is the fourteenth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
  • Around 4,300 people died from kidney cancer in 2012 in the UK, that’s more than 11 people every day.
  • Three-quarters of deaths from kidney cancer are in people aged 65 and over.
  • Since the early-1970s, kidney cancer death rates in the UK have increased by half.
  • In Europe, around 49,000 people were estimated to have died from kidney cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 20th lowest in Europe for males and 12th highest for females.
  • Worldwide, more than 143,000 people were estimated to have died from kidney cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.

Read more in-depth kidney cancer mortality statistics

  • Half (50%) of people diagnosed with kidney cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Almost 6 in 10 (56%) people diagnosed with kidney cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • More than 7 in 10 (72%) people diagnosed with kidney cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Kidney cancer survival is higher in men than women at one- and five-years but similar at ten-years.
  • Kidney cancer survival is highest for people diagnosed aged under 50 years old.
  • Around three-quarters of people diagnosed aged 15-49 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than a third of people diagnosed aged 80 and over.
  • Kidney cancer survival is improving and has increased in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, almost a quarter of people diagnosed with kidney cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's half.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, more than 8 in 10 people with kidney cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than 1 in 10 people when at the latest stage.

Read more in-depth kidney cancer survival statistics

  • 42% (47% in males and 34% in females) of kidney cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • A person’s risk of developing kidney cancer depends on many factors, including age,genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • An estimated 42% of kidney cancers in the UK are linked to lifestyle factors including smoking (24%) and overweight and obesity (24%).
  • Ionising radiation, certain occupational exposures, and certain medicines cause kidney cancer.
  • Certain medical conditions and inadequate physical activity may relate to higher kidney cancer risk.

Read more in-depth kidney cancer risk factors

  • GP referral (not ‘two week wait’) is the most common route to diagnosis of kidney cancer.
  • ‘Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ and ‘62-day wait’ are not met by any country for urological cancers.
  • Almost 6 in 10 kidney cancer patients receive major surgical resection as part of their cancer treatment.
  • More than 8 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • Around 7 in 10 patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.

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The latest statistics available for kidney cancer in the UK are; incidence 2012, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011.

The ICD codes Open a glossary item for kidney cancer are ICD-10 C64-C66 and C68 (which include cancers of the kidney, renal pelvis, ureter and other unspecified urinary organs).

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2012.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages Open a glossary item and co-morbidities Open a glossary item. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. If you are a patient, please see our patient information.

Stage at diagnosis data is not yet routinely available for the UK due to inconsistencies in the collecting and recording of staging data in the past.

Risk factor evidence is for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) unless otherwise specified. Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort Open a glossary item studies are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2006-2010.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Kidney 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.

Cancer surgical resection rates data is for patients diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2010.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.

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