Kidney Cancer (Adult) - Renal Cell Carcinoma

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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 2015:

  • About 61,560 new cases of kidney cancer (38,270 in men and 23,290 in women) will occur.
  • About 14,080 people (9,070 men and 5,010 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 the section “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 the section “Survival rates for kidney cancer by stage.”

Last Medical Review: 02/24/2014
Last Revised: 03/03/2015