LIFESTYLE

Kidney Cancer Cases 'Soar In Past Decade' - Here's How To Spot The Symptoms

27/02/2014 10:54 GMT | Updated 27/02/2014 16:59 GMT

Kidney cancer cases have soared by one third over the past decade - with the disease now claiming 4,200 lives in the UK each year.

Since the early 2000s annual incidence of the disease has risen from nine to 12 per 100,000 people, according to new figures from Cancer Research UK.

As a result experts are calling for greater awareness, treatments and research.

doctor

Obesity, smoking and better diagnostic techniques are all said to have contributed to the increase.

Kidney cancer is the eighth most common form of the disease in the UK and causes 4,200 deaths each year.

Professor Tim Eisen, a Cancer Research UK clinician based at the Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, said: "These figures show a worrying rise in kidney cancer in the last decade and emphasise how crucial more research into better treatments for kidney cancer is.

"To address the growing problem we're running several trials to make sure these kidney cancer patients have the best possible treatment options. But as well as finding better treatments, more needs to be done to catch this cancer as early as possible.

"Half of the patients we see are diagnosed incidentally when they have come in for other health problems. The best possible chance of survival comes from being aware of the potential symptoms, such as blood in the urine, and getting this checked out by your GP."

Here's how to spot the symptoms of kidney cancer. The story continues below...

Common Symptoms Of Kidney Cancer

BBC journalist and television presenter Nicholas Owen, who was successfully treated for kidney cancer, said: "Nothing could quite prepare me for the moment the doctor told me I had kidney cancer. I had felt fit and healthy, but a grumbling gut caused me to get checked out by the doctor who gave me a scan just in case. The ultrasound revealed a two centimetre tumour on my kidney.

"Thankfully it was caught early, and surgery was able to remove my cancer. But I can't emphasise enough how important it is to go to the doctor when you feel something is wrong, especially if you find blood in your urine."

Kate Law, Cancer Research UK's director of clinical trials, said: "This increase in kidney cancers highlights how important it is to tackle this disease. We must continue to encourage people to be aware of the risk factors and to quit smoking in particular."

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Do You Know The Symptoms Of Kidney Cancer?

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "Too many people are dying unnecessarily from kidney cancer because they don't know the symptoms to look out for. To help raise awareness, we ran the Be Clear on Cancer 'blood in pee' campaign last autumn and are looking forward to seeing the results of this shortly.

"This is a crucial part of our drive to make sure our cancer services are amongst the best in the world and help save an extra 5,000 lives every year."