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Kidney Cancer Detection, Treatment on Rise in U.S.

But mortality is also increasing, suggesting that treatment paradigm should be reassessed

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Renal cancer rates are on the upswing in the United States, mostly due to detection and treatment of smaller tumors, researchers report in the Sept. 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. And although kidney cancer surgeries are on the rise, all-cause mortality has not declined.

Brent K. Hollenbeck, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues analyzed data from nine registries involving 34,503 kidney cancer patients.

The researchers found kidney cancer rates up from 7.1 to 10.8 per 100,000 U.S. residents between 1983 and 2002, due mainly to the detection of small tumors. Renal surgeries for tumors of 4 centimeters or less increased from 0.9 to 3.6 surgeries per 100,000 U.S. residents. Kidney cancer patient deaths increased from 1.5 to 6.5 per 100,000, mostly in those with tumors exceeding 7 centimeters.

"Our results demonstrate that the rising incidence of kidney cancer is largely attributable to an increase in small renal masses that are presumably curable," the authors write. "The fact that increased detection and treatment of small tumors is not reducing mortality argues for a reassessment of the current treatment paradigm."

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