Today (4th February) is World Cancer Day, and KCSN are joining forces with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to highlight the need for urgent action to increase early stage cancer detection, screening, and diagnosis to significantly improve cancer patients’ chances of survival.

Read our press release here:

On World Cancer Day, the Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) calls for action on early detection of cancer to significantly improve patient survival

  • Early cancer detection, screening, and diagnosis highlighted as one of the most impactful ways to save lives
  • In the UK, over 12,500 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year, more than a third of whom have advanced disease
  • Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) calls for more action on early detection of kidney cancer by the UK government

<TRURO, UK> On Monday 4 February, World Cancer Day 2019 highlights the need for urgent action to increase early stage cancer detection, screening, and diagnosis to significantly improve cancer patients’ chances of survival. Taking place under the theme of ‘I Am and I Will’, today’s World Cancer Day led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), aims to inspire action from individuals, the health community, and governments to improve public awareness and access to early detection, screening, and diagnosis.

Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) endorses the ‘I Am and I Will’ initiative for World Cancer Day to inspire the UK National Health Service (NHS) for more action on early detection and screening of kidney cancer to improve chances of survival.

Every year in the UK, over 12,500 people learn that they have kidney cancer1. The incidence of kidney cancer has been steadily increasing in the UK, due mainly to lifestyle factors, such as obesity and smoking, and an increase in incidental detection of tumours. Kidney cancer is now the seventh most common cancer in the UK and accounts for 3% of all new diagnoses of cancer1.

Kidney cancer is more prevalent in older men (over 60 years old), who usually appear healthy; about twice as many men are diagnosed than women1. The risk of developing kidney cancer starts to rise around 45-49 years and is highest in people aged 80-841. Other factors that can predispose people to the disease are an unhealthy diet (obesity), smoking, and genetic factors (such as a mutation in the von Hippel-Lindau gene).

The most common early symptom is blood in the urine. If kidney cancer is detected at an early stage, there is a good chance of a cure by removal of the affected kidney to prevent the spread of the disease. The more the cancer has grown and spread throughout the body, the less chance of survival, but treatment can often slow the progress of the cancer. Other symptoms can be less specific such as tiredness or pain. Some patients get no symptoms at all and the cancer is found incidentally.

Early diagnosis can also reduce the cost of treatment. Studies in high-income countries show that treatment costs for early-diagnosed cancer patients are two to four times less expensive than treating those diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer2.

Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control Dr Cary Adams said: “This World Cancer Day, we want people to know that many cancers can be managed and even cured, especially if they’re detected and treated as early as possible. By detecting cancer at its earliest stage, we seize the greatest opportunity to prevent millions of avoidable deaths worldwide.”

There are a number of individual factors that can affect early detection and screening attendance, such as age, ability to understand and communicate early symptoms, gender norms, lack of health promotion, socioeconomic status, feelings of shame and fear, poor health awareness and cultural beliefs.

In 2018, a UK report found that cancer is the most feared disease in the nation and that one in four people would not seek medical attention after discovering a potential cancer symptom for fear of what the diagnosis would be2.

UICC President and mother of a cancer survivor HRH Princess Dina Mired said:Cancer thrives on late presentation of the disease. The delay allows it to spread and cause damage totally unchallenged. That is why, on this World Cancer Day, I urge you all to educate yourselves with the signs and symptoms of cancer and to not be afraid to seek help immediately. Equally, I urge governments to prioritise and systemise early detection and screening programmes to allow for better access and to give all a fighting chance to beat cancer.”

Rose Woodward, Founder and Patient Advocate, Kidney Cancer Support Network said “As part of the Long Term Plan, NHS England are starting to address the issue of early diagnosis through the introduction of ten multidisciplinary diagnostic centres for rare and less common cancers and the new 28-day diagnostic standard for cancer. However, these plans are in the early stages and much remains to be done to improve early diagnosis of kidney cancer, including the development of a routine screening test.”



About World Cancer Day 2019

World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the uniting global initiative under which the world comes together to raise the profile of cancer in a positive and inspiring way. Spearheaded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and improving education about the disease alongside calling on governments and individuals across the world to take action.

For more information, please visit:

About the Kidney Cancer Support Network

Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) is the UK’s largest and most active patient-led and patient-managed kidney cancer charity. KCSN provides support and information to patients, survivors, carers and families affected by kidney cancer.

KCSN has been supporting kidney cancer patients and carers since 2006 and is a very special and unique type of charity. The members are all kidney cancer patients or carers to people with kidney cancer – and they provide a very special type of support to their members because they understand what patients are going through.

KCSN has many hundreds of members across the UK whose lives have been changed by kidney cancer; they come together to share experiences and support each other using their combined patient and carer knowledge gathered over many years to ensure no one has to face a diagnosis of kidney cancer alone.

For more information, please visit:

Media Contacts: Kidney Cancer Support Network

Dr Sharon Deveson Kell, Head of Medical Relations: 07970 746186

Julia Black, Head of Patient Support: 07973 777 202



1 Cancer Research UK (2019)

2 Incisive Health (2018) The State of Cancer: Public Attitudes and Beliefs towards Britain’s Biggest Killer [Accessed: 19.12.2018]