Kidney Cancer (Adult) - Renal Cell Carcinoma

+ -Text Size

What Is Kidney Cancer? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about kidney cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for kidney cancer in the United States are for 2016:

  • About 62,700 new cases of kidney cancer (39,650 in men and 23,050 in women) will occur.
  • About 14,240 people (9,240 men and 5,000 women) will die from this disease.

These numbers include all types of kidney and renal pelvis cancers.

Most people with kidney cancer are older. The average age of people when they are diagnosed is 64. Kidney cancer is very uncommon in people younger than age 45.

Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Overall, the lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer is about 1 in 63 (1.6%). This risk is higher in men than in women. A number of other factors (described in “What are the risk factors for kidney cancer?”) also affect a person’s risk.

For reasons that are not totally clear, the rate of new kidney cancers has been rising since the 1990s, although this seems to have leveled off in the past few years. Part of this rise was probably due to the use of newer imaging tests such as CT scans, which picked up some cancers that might never have been found otherwise. The death rates for these cancers have gone down slightly since the middle of the 1990s.

Survival rates for people diagnosed with kidney cancer are discussed in “Survival rates for kidney cancer by stage.”

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

Last Medical Review: 02/24/2014
Last Revised: 02/10/2016