More people are being diagnosed with and dying from kidney cancer in England today, compared to 10 years ago according to new figures released.
Incidence rates have increased by 31% over the last 10 years and mortality rates have increased by 7% over the last decade, with around 3,500 people dying from kidney cancer in England in 2011.
Of those diagnosed with kidney cancer, approximately 71% will survive for at least 1 year, with around 54% surviving for at least 5 years.
However, the earlier kidney cancer is diagnosed the higher the chance of survival - when diagnosed at the earliest stage, 1-year survival is as high as 92 to 97% compared to just 25 to 32% at a late stage.
One of the reasons people do not receive an early diagnosis is believed to be the public's lack of awareness of key symptoms.
Blood in pee - even if it appears just the once - could be a symptom of both bladder and kidney cancer. However, a recent survey shows that the public don't recognise the seriousness of the sign - almost a third (30%) of people would wait and see if they spotted blood in their pee again before taking any action, which could delay their diagnosis.
These figures have been released as a new NHS Be Clear on Cancer campaign has been launched to drive awareness of kidney cancers.
Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: "Receiving an early diagnosis increases the chance of survival for the 16,600 people who are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer every year in England."
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: "Too many people are dying unnecessarily from bladder and kidney cancers because they don't know the symptoms to look out for that could save their lives. That is why this new Be Clear on Cancer campaign is so important.
"Getting people diagnosed early is a crucial part of this government's drive to have cancer services amongst the best in the world and save an extra 5,000 lives every year by 2014."
Sean Duffy, national clinical director for cancer at NHS England, said: "Over the last 10 years we have seen the incidence rate of kidney cancer increase by 31% which is a substantial climb and largely down to unhealthy lifestyles . Although survival rates have been improving, this rise in cases has led to an increase in the number of deaths from the disease.
As an increasing number of people are affected by kidney cancer, it's important that the public are aware of the early signs to look out for, such as blood in pee. Only then will we see an increase in early diagnosis rates and a further positive impact on England's survival rate.
"Currently, around 1,000 deaths from bladder and kidney cancer could be avoided in England each year if survival rates matched the best in Europe."
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