Epidemiology of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Sandeep Anand Padala, Adam Barsouk, Krishna Chaitanya Thandra, Kalyan Saginala, Azeem Mohammed, Anusha Vakiti, Prashanth Rawla, Alexander Barsouk


Though renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for 2% of global cancer diagnoses and deaths, it has more than doubled in incidence in the developed world over the past half-century, and today is the ninth most common neoplasm in the United States (US). While North America and Western Europe have the highest disease burden (with the Belarus highest in incidence), Latin America, Asia and Africa are projected to see an increase in incidence as nation's transition to a Western lifestyle. Most cases of RCC are discovered incidentally on imaging, and survival is highly dependent on the stage at diagnosis, with the metastatic disease having only a 12% 5-year survival rate. Two-thirds of RCC diagnoses are made in men, and the average age of diagnosis in the US is 64. Those with genetic predispositions, namely von Hippel-Lindau disease, tend to be diagnosed 20 years earlier. RCC has a greater incidence among Hispanics and Native Americans, and a lower survival rate among African Americans in the US. Modifiable risk factors for RCC include smoking, obesity, poorly-controlled hypertension, diet and alcohol, and occupational exposures. Prevention strategies aimed at improving survival and reducing disparities include addressing lifestyle factors and access to regular healthcare among underserved populations and in developing nations, as well as more rigorous imaging guidelines to detect RCC at an earlier stage. A stronger understanding of global RCC epidemiology can facilitate prevention efforts, especially in developing nations and underserved communities where disease burden is predicted to rise in the coming decades.

World J Oncol. 2020;11(3):79-87
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1279


Kidney cancer; Renal cell carcinoma; Epidemiology; Incidence; Mortality; Trends; Survival; Etiology; Risk factors; Prevention

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