Key Statistics About Kidney Cancer

How common is kidney cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for kidney cancer in the United States for 2020 are:

  • About 73,750 new cases of kidney cancer (45,520 in men and 28,230 in women) will be diagnosed.
  • About 14,830 people (9,860 men and 4,970 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 with most people being diagnosed between ages 65 and 74. Kidney cancer is very uncommon in people younger than age 45.

Kidney cancer is about twice as common in men than in women and it is more common in African Americans and American Indian /Alaska Natives.

Lifetime risk of kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Overall, the lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer in men is about 1 in 46 (2.02%). The lifetime risk for women is about 1 in 82 (1.02%). A number of factors (described in Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer) also affect a person’s risk.

New cases and death rates

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 remained stable for many years.

Survival rates for people diagnosed with kidney cancer are discussed in Survival Rates for Kidney Cancer.

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

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2020. 

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Being Diagnosed with Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity:

Males, 21 SEER Areas, 2014-2016 (Table 1.15) https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf. Accessed January 24, 2020.

Females, 21 SEER Areas, 2014-2016 (Table 1.16) https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf Accessed January 24, 2020.

References

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2020. 

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Being Diagnosed with Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity:

Males, 21 SEER Areas, 2014-2016 (Table 1.15) https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf. Accessed January 24, 2020.

Females, 21 SEER Areas, 2014-2016 (Table 1.16) https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf Accessed January 24, 2020.

Last Revised: February 1, 2020

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