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Kidney cancer survival rates improve

Report reveals significant rises in one and five year survival rates despite a rise in diagnoses

Mark Gould

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Kidney cancer survival rates have shown a significant rise in spite of rising incidence of the disease, according to a new report* by Public Health England’s National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).

Incidence of kidney cancer, the eighth most common cancer in England, have risen over two decades but during the same period one-year survival improved from 58 to 72 per cent in males and 54 to 71 per cent in females, an increase of 14 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. At five-years, the survival rate improved from 39 to 55 per cent in males and from 37 to 55 per cent in females.

The report looked at trends in survival of kidney cancer in England from 1990-2010 and found that people diagnosed with the main type of kidney cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, have seen an overall improvement in survival. However, for around 10 per cent of patients diagnosed with rarer types of kidney cancer such as Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC), there has been no significant change.

This report's authors say this could be because TCC is less likely to be detected early via medical imaging, but also because of less advances in developing successful treatments.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “It’s extremely promising to see these improvements in survival, but we want to do better. Our Be Clear on Cancer campaign focussed on kidney and bladder cancer, launched nationally last year to raise awareness of the symptoms, which is crucial to early detection, treatment and will impact on survival.

“Receiving an early diagnosis increases the chance of survival for the 16,600 people who are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer every year in England. Our Be Clear on Cancer message is clear – as soon as you spot blood in your pee, visit the GP. It’s probably nothing serious but it could also be a sign of something else that needs treatment, so don’t ignore the symptoms or put off a trip to the doctor.”


* Hounsome L, Iles M, Verne J. Kidney Cancer: Survival Report. Urological Cancers SSCRG. National Cancer Intelligence Network. April 2014.

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