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Kidney Cancer access options

Many different types of cancer can affect the kidneys. The most common type is renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which accounts for more than 80% of all kidney cancers. Rarer types of kidney cancer include transitional cell cancer, which develops in the lining of the kidneys and usually affects men who are 50 years of age or over, and Wilms’ tumour, a rare type of kidney cancer that affects children1

How many people are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year?

Around 338,000 new cases of kidney cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2012, making it the twelfth most common cancer2, with the highest rates recorded in Northern America3. The 5 year survival of patients with kidney cancer is 74% in the United States4

How is kidney cancer treated?

Kidney cancer can sometimes be treated with surgery, depending on the type and stage of the disease. In some cases, when other medical conditions are present and/or the cancer has spread, surgery is no longer a treatment option5. When a small tumour is present, your doctor may recommend freezing the tumour (cryotherapy6) or using radio wave treatment (radiofrequency ablation7), in which the tumour is burned away5. In Wilms’ tumour, the most common type of kidney cancer in children, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery are the standard treatments, depending on the stage of the disease when diagnosed8


1. Kidney cancer
National Health Scheme, last reviewed December 2016.

2. Kidney cancer statistics,
World Cancer Research Fund International, 2014.

3. Epidemiology and risk factors for kidney cancer,
Chow, W.H., “Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer.” Nature reviews. 13 Mar. 2018.

4. Cancer Stat Facts: Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer
National Cancer Institute, last updated 2017.

5. Kidney Cancer
Cancer Research UK, February 2016. 

6. Cryotherapy
    Wikipedia, cited on 13/03/2018

7. Radiofrequency ablation 
    Wikipedia, cited on 13/03/2018

8. Wilm's tumour
    Cancer Research UK, December 2017. 

  1. Inlyta
    Inlyta (axitinib)
    Kidney Cancer
  2. Lenvima
    Lenvima (lenvatinib)
    Kidney Cancer, Liver Cancer, Thyroid Cancer
  3. Bavencio
    Bavencio (avelumab)
    Urothelial Carcinoma, Kidney Cancer, Skin Cancer
  4. Cabometyx
    Cabometyx (cabozantinib)
    Kidney Cancer
  5. Opdivo
    Opdivo (Nivolumab)
    Urothelial Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Lymphoma, Skin Cancer
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