What are the key statistics about kidney cancer?
The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for kidney cancer in the United States for 2013 are:
- About 65,150 new cases of kidney cancer (40,430 in men and 24,720 in women) will occur.
- About 13,680 people (8,780 men and 4,900 women) will die from this disease.
These statistics include both renal cell carcinomas and transitional cell carcinomas of the renal pelvis.
Most people with this 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, and it most often occurs in people 55 and older.
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 people developing kidney cancer has been rising steadily since the late 1990s. Part of this is probably due to the development of newer imaging tests such as CT scans, which have 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, "How is kidney cancer staged?"
Last Medical Review: 11/08/2012
Last Revised: 01/18/2013