How many people get kidney cancer?

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Kidney cancer is the 7th most common cancer in UK adults, with around 13,300 new cases diagnosed each year, and 4,700 deaths. Kidney cancer accounts for 4% of all new cancer cases in the UK.

In men, kidney cancer is the 5th most common cancer, with around 8,400 new cases per year, and in women it ranks 10th with around 4,900 new cases per year.

It has been estimated that 1 in 34 men and 1 in 61 women will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in their lifetime.

About a third of all kidney cancers are diagnosed in people aged over 75 years. The incidence rates of kidney cancer are highest in people aged 85-89.

Kidney cancer is, therefore, a less common cancer. However, the incidence of kidney cancer is increasing globally, including the UK, where incidence rates have increased by a third (34%) over the last decade. This increase is mainly due to lifestyle factors, such as smoking and obesity. The increase could also be due to improvements in scanning technology leading to the detection of small kidney tumours that don’t have any symptoms during a scan to investigate another condition.

Data from Cancer Research UK: Kidney cancer statistics unless specified otherwise.

Further reading: Action Kidney Cancer Essential guide: Kidney cancer – Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)

Updated: October 2023                                                                                                                      Next review: October 2025

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