Key Information About Kidney Cancer


In order to understand kidney cancer, it is necessary to take a look at the statistical and general information about kidney cancer that we have so far, in a compressive way. In this sense, we will give a brief overview of the statistics, the most important risk factors and symptoms of kidney cancer.

1. Statistics of Kidney Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.6 million new cancer cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. In recent years, the percentage of kidney cancer among all cancers has been less than 4% of the total.

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The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 60,000 new kidney cancer cases have been diagnosed in United States, in 2015.

Kidney cancer is roughly 2 times more common in men than in women. However, in recent years, this difference is gradually decreasing. This is attributed to the increased incidence of smoking among women by some different sources. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately over 14,000 people pass away in the United States, in 2016 due to renal cancer. However, it is estimated that more than 375,000 cases of kidney cancer continue to live in the United States as survivors.

All these statistics provided by the American Cancer Society include all types of kidney cancer in both adults and children.

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2. Most Common Type of Kidney Cancer

In fact, when we say kidney cancer, we use a title that covers more than one subtype. The most common of these subtypes is Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC). However, when we look at all cancers in the human body, renal cell carcinoma is a rare malignancy.

Apart from some exceptional cases, renal cell carcinoma is usually treated by surgical removal of the tumor. Especially if the renal tumor is diagnosed at an early stage, the possibility of recurrence of the tumor after surgical treatment is extremely low.

For more information about the stages of Kidney Cancer, you can read:
Kidney Cancer Basics: Stages


Unfortunately, in the early stages, the renal tumor has very few symptoms. Therefore, kidney cancer is usually misdiagnosed or undiagnosed in the first stage. The correct diagnosis is generally made when the tumor has grown fairly large. At this exact point, the renal tumor displaces the nearby organs, causing several symptoms.

Increasingly, many renal cancer diagnoses are made incidentally on imaging such as x-ray and ultrasound which are not related to the tumor.

According to many experts and sources, this situation is attributed to the increase in the information about kidney cancer which we have, and to the development of technology.

3. Most Important Risk Factors of Kidney Cancer

There are many different risk factors associated with the development of kidney cancer. Among these, the most important risk factors are smoking, obesity and exposure to toxic chemicals.

While smoking nearly doubles the risk of kidney cancer, chemicals such as asbestos, cadmium, and petroleum by-products have an extremely important role in the development of kidney cancer.

In addition, family history of kidney cancer increases the risk also.
Therefore, if you have any information about kidney cancer history in your family, you should share it with your doctor.

4. Important Symptoms

The most common symptom of kidney cancer is painless urination of blood. This condition is called as hematuria in the medical literature. Hematuria occurs in approximately 20% to 25% of patients. Usually, blood in the urine will occur one day and not the other day.

However, an important point here is that blood in the urine is not only a symptom of kidney cancer. It may also indicate other conditions, such as kidney stones or urinary tract infection.

Other common symptoms of kidney cancer may be abdominal mass, a thick lump that thickening and bulging under the skin. This mass, which is felt under the skin or in the abdomen, may become visible as it grows.

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There also may be back or flank pain or pressure. Kidney cancer most commonly develops between the ages of 40 and 60 years. And because back pain is also extremely common in people of this age group, this kind of pain is often ignored and therefore kidney cancer can go undetected.

If the renal tumor spreads to other organs, which means metastasis, there may be very different symptoms depending on the affected organ.

For more information about the metastasis of Kidney Cancer, you can read:
Kidney Cancer Basics: Stages


These symptoms are generally independent of the urinary system and are accompanied by unexplained weight loss, fevers, anemia or high blood pressure.

Even if your cancer starts in the kidney and metastasizes to another organ, your disease is still considered as kidney cancer.

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