This blog will give you regular, high-quality information about cancer. You'll also get to meet the info team and get updates on our projects. We hope you find it useful. And if there are any topics you'd like us to blog about, just let us know.
Today is World Kidney Day. In this blog, cancer information nurse Richard runs through some of the risk factors of kidney cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk. He also lists the symptoms to be aware of, so you can get them checked sooner rather than later – when there is a better chance of successful treatment.
World Kidney Day is a global awareness campaign that occurs every March and aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys.
Millions of people worldwide live with different types of kidney disease. Just over 12,500 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year. Numbers may be small when compared to other types of kidney disease, but it is the 8th most common cancer in the UK. And the number of people being diagnosed with kidney cancer is increasing. Over the last 10 years, the number of new cases every year in the UK has increased by nearly 50%. And even more important is the fact that as many as one third of kidney cancer cases could be preventable.
Kidney cancer risks
There are a number of different risk factors for kidney cancer. Some of them you can’t do anything about. For example, in the UK kidney cancer is more common in:
The important risk factors to be aware of are those that you can help to reduce by making lifestyle changes. This includes:
As many as 34% of kidney cancer cases in the UK could be preventable. Stopping smoking and eating healthily will really help to reduce your risk.
Symptoms to be aware of
Small kidney cancers do not usually cause any symptoms. They may be diagnosed by chance.
When a kidney cancer does cause symptoms, the most common symptom is:
Other symptoms include:
Most people with these symptoms do not have kidney cancer. But if you have any symptoms, it is important to get them checked by your GP.
We have more information about kidney cancer that covers how it is diagnosed and treated, and ways of coping. You can also order a free copy of our booklet Understanding kidney cancer.
To see what else Macmillan's cancer information team has been blogging about, please visit our blog home page! You can subscribe to receive our blogs by email or RSS too.
We're with you every step of the way
The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.
Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in).
Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo
As someone with total kidney failure caused by blood cancer and on full time dialysis I think it's very important to get people to think about their kidneys. They are the Cinderella of the vital organ world when it comes to public awareness, we all know about heart and liver health etc but kidneys rarely get discussed and most people are unaware of the subtle signs of dysfunction. Kidneys are quite the diva and when they are not happy can cause massive disruption to the rest of the body. So anything that can be done to alert people to signs of kidney distress the better the outcomes will be. The goal of all nephrologists is to keep all of us off dialysis and using our own kidneys for as long as possible.
Safe payments by:
We're here to provide physical, financial and emotional support. So whatever cancer throws your way, we're right there with you.
© Macmillan Cancer Support
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man
(604). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company
number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ. VAT no: