Kidney Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year. You will read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

This year, an estimated 63,990 adults (40,610 men and 23,380 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with kidney cancer. Kidney cancer is the sixth most common cancer for men, and it is the tenth most common cause of cancer for women. The disease is rarely found in people under 45; the average age of diagnosis is 64.

It is estimated that 14,400 deaths (9,470 men and 4,930 women) from this disease will occur this year. Since 2002, death rates have dropped by about 1% annually.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with kidney cancer is 74%. However, survival rates depend on several factors, including the type, cell type, and stage of the cancer when it is first diagnosed.

Approximately 65% of people are diagnosed when the cancer is only located in the kidney. For this group, the 5-year survival rate is 93%. If kidney cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 66%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 12%.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with kidney cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. People should talk with their doctor if they have questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2017.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.