KIDNEY CANCER

It is important to realize that with timely diagnosis and treatment, kidney cancer can be cured. If found early, the survival rate for patients with kidney cancer ranges from 79 to 100 percent. More than 100,000 survivors of kidney cancer are alive in the United States today.

What are some facts about kidney cancer?

In the United States, 2 percent of all cancers arise from the kidney. Each year, kidney cancer is diagnosed in approximately 52,000 Americans and is the cause of death in nearly 12,000 Americans. Kidney cancer is slightly more common in males and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70 years. The most common kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma.

What is a kidney tumor?

A kidney tumor is an abnormal growth within the kidney. The terms “mass,” “lesion” and “tumor” are often used interchangeably. Tumors may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The most common kidney lesion is a fluid-filled area called a cyst. Simple cysts are benign and have a typical appearance on imaging studies. They do not progress to cancer and usually require no follow-up or treatment. Solid kidney tumors can be benign, but are cancerous more than 80 percent of the time.

What risk factors are associated with kidney cancer?

The following associations may increase the risk of developing kidney cancer.
smoking

  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • family history of kidney cancer
  • chronic kidney failure and/or dialysis
  • diet with high caloric intake or fried/sautéed meat
  • von Hippel Lindau disease
  • tuberous sclerosis