Kidney Cancer’s Prevalence
If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, you have many questions, including whether you are the only one living with this type of cancer and what the statistics are for risk factors, treatment success, and survival rates.
Here is some information about kidney cancer and its various statistics.
Last year, there were more than 50,000 diagnosed cases of kidney cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. This year, it is estimated there will be 64,990 new cases.
Kidney cancer is the 12th most common cancer in the world according to the World Cancer Research Fund International. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer with 80 to 90 percent of cases, the remaining 10 to 20 percent are renal pelvic cancer.
Two Types of Kidney Cancer
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) forms in the lining of the tubules (small tubes) of the kidney. As the most common type of kidney cancer, it affects mostly men between the ages of 50 and 70 according to the National Cancer Institute.
How well your treatments work with RCC depends on how much the cancer has spread. Your survival rate is highest if your tumor is removed in its early stages and hasn’t spread outside the kidney, but if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and other organs, your survival rate is much lower.
Renal pelvis cancer (RPC) forms in the kidney’s pelvis in the ureter, the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. RPC is more common in people older than age 65 and its exact cause is unknown. It affects more men than women.
Chronic irritation of the kidney from harmful substances in the urine, such as from medicines, smoking, and exposures to certain chemicals may play a part. If you have previously had bladder cancer, you are also at risk for developing RPC.
Your quality of life and survival depends on the location of the tumor and how much the cancer has spread. If the cancer is only in the kidney or ureter, you could be cured with surgery but if the cancer has spread to other organs, it is generally not curable.