3d people pushing four jigsaw puzzle pieces .In Australia, kidney cancer is one of the ten most common cancer diagnoses

It is estimated that 3,000 people received a diagnosis of kidney cancer in 2012. Between 1991 and 2009 the incidence of kidney cancer has increased by approximately 30%.

The increase in diagnosed kidney cancer may be due to the ageing of the population, better diagnostic methods, or increased rate of coincidental diagnosis during scans for other reasons.

Australians have a 1 in 69 risk of developing kidney cancer before the age of 85 (1 in 51 for males and 1 in 103 for females). Males are currently twice as likely to develop kidney cancer as females.

Kidney cancer is mostly a disease seen in adults aged over 55, and is rare in children.


Worldwide, over 100,000 people die of kidney cancer each year. Kidney cancer caused 927 deaths in Australia in 2009 (575 men, 352 women), accounting for 2% of all cancer deaths, and for 0.6% of all causes deaths.

Survival from kidney cancer has increased greatly over time. The 5-year survival has risen from 47% in the period 1982–1987 to 72% in 2006–2010. The 5-year survival rate is similar for males and females overall, although females aged 50–59 (5-year survival of 83%) had a slight survival advantage over males of the same age (76%). Improved outcomes are due largely to increases in the detection and survival of early-stage renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer.

Kidney Cancer Support Service – 1800 454 363or email if you have questions about kidney cancer

Sources of Data

ACIM (Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality) Book (2010) AIHW Canberra

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries. Cancer in Australia: an overview 2012. Cancer series no. 74. Cat. no. CAN 70. Canberra: AIHW

AIHW 2012. Cancer in Australia: in brief 2012. Cancer series no. 73. Cat. no. CAN 69. Canberra: AIHW.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: period estimates from 1982 to 2010. 2012. Cancer Series no. 69 Cat. no. CAN 65. Canberra: AIHW