Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month and Arizona Oncology, a practice in The US Oncology Network, encourages men and women to speak with their healthcare providers about the symptoms, risk factors and treatments for the disease. Also known as Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women.
“The rate of new kidney cancers has been on the rise since the 1990s. Most likely this is due to improved technology such as CT scans which now help locate cancers that were not previous identified,” said Tania Cortas, M.D., medical oncologist, Arizona Oncology. “The death rates for these cancers continue to decrease, so early diagnosis is key to both treatment and survival.”
More than 200,000 kidney cancer survivors are living in the United States today, according to kidneycancer.org. Recent advances in diagnosis, surgical procedures and treatment options provide patients new hope to manage and live with the disease, with a high quality of life.
Based on American Cancer Society estimates, about 61,560 new cases of kidney cancer will occur this year, and more than 14,000 people will die from the disease. Most people with kidney cancer are older, with an average age of 64. Overall, the lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer is about 1 in 63, and this risk is higher in men.
Factors that increase the risk of kidney cancer include:
- Smoking, which can double the risk of the disease
- Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which may or may not increase the risk by 51%
- Faulty genes
- A family history of kidney cancer
- Having kidney disease that needs dialysis
- Being infected with Hepatitis C
- Previous treatment for testicular cancer or cervical cancer
In addition to being aware of the risk factors of kidney cancer, Arizona Oncology reminds all men and women to speak with their healthcare providers about this disease during their annual exams.