According to the American Cancer Society, the relative survival rate for people of all ages and all stages of kidney cancer is 76%, meaning people with kidney cancer are about 76% as likely as people in the general population to live at least 5 years.
Your kidneys are a pair of fist-sized organs found in the back of your abdomen that filter waste from your blood.
The stage of your kidney cancer is the factor with the strongest influence on your chances of survival. People with cancer isolated to the kidney have a 5-year relative survival rate of
Age is another important factor that influences your outlook. Younger age at the time of your diagnosis is associated with a better chance of surviving at least 5 years.
In this article, we examine how age and other factors influence the survival rate of kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer statistics
The risk of developing kidney cancer increases with age. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 65 to 74.
Doctors often consider your age when estimating your chances of surviving kidney cancer and determining the best treatment options. Being diagnosed at a younger age is associated with a better chance of surviving at least 5 years.
Here’s a look at the kidney cancer survival rates by age from 2012 to 2018 in the United States according to the
|Age||5-year relative survival rate|
Trends in kidney cancer survival rates
Survival rates for kidney cancer continue to rise as researchers develop new treatments. The 5-year relative survival rate improved by
The survival rates will likely continue to rise when newer data is available.
The number of kidney cancers diagnosed each year in developed countries is also predicted to
The stage of your kidney cancer is the factor that has the strongest influence on your chances of survival. Early-stage kidney cancer is easier to treat than late-stage cancer.
Other factors that influence your survival rate include:
- cancer grade, a measure of your cancer’s aggressiveness based on the appearance of cancer cells in a laboratory
- your type of kidney cancer, with some types such as papillary and chromophobe kidney cancer associated with lower grades and better survival
- your level of risk measured using the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC)
IMDC for metastatic kidney cancer risk
The IMDC is the most common system doctors use to predict the outlook for people with kidney cancer that has spread to distant body parts, also called metastatic kidney cancer.
The following factors on the IMDC are associated with a poorer outlook:
- abnormally high blood calcium levels
- low red blood cells count
- low platelet count
- abnormally high levels of a type of white blood cell called neutrophils
- less than 1 year between diagnosis of metastatic kidney cancer and treatment
- Karnofsky performance status score less than 80 (a measure of how well you can undergo your daily activity)
Doctors classify your level of risk depending on how many risk factors you have:
- favorable if you have no risk factors
- intermediate if you have 1 or 2
- poor if you have more than 3
How fast does kidney cancer spread?
The speed at which kidney cancer grows varies widely between people. In a small 2021
Researchers admit that this finding was likely higher than normal due to their study design. Most renal cell carcinomas grow slowly, with an average tumor growth rate ranging from 0.09 cm (.035 in) a year to 0.86 cm (0.33 in) a year.
Is kidney cancer usually fatal?
Most cases of kidney cancer are treatable. People with kidney cancer have roughly a
Can kidney cancer be cured?
Kidney cancer is often curable if it hasn’t spread to distant body parts at the time it’s diagnosed. The
- 93% if the cancer is contained to your kidney
- 71% if it’s contained to the surrounding area
- 15% if it spreads to distant tissue
What’s the most common type of kidney cancer?
About 90% of kidney cancers start in the lining of small tubes in your kidney and are called renal cell carcinoma. The most common type of renal cell carcinoma is called clear cell renal carcinoma. It gets its name from the appearance of its cells under a microscope.
Your kidney cancer stage is the factor that has the strongest influence on your survival rate. Your age at the time of your diagnosis also influences your chances of survival. In general, people diagnosed at a younger age have a better chance of surviving at least 5 years.
Kidney cancer survival rates are continuing to improve. The