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Unhealthy lifestyles lead to rise in kidney cancer

By Shan Juan | | Updated: 2013-02-25 17:28

Chinese senior cancer specialists warned the public of rising kidney cancer in recent years largely due to an unhealthy lifestyle associated with obesity, smoking and drinking.

Latest statistics from the Ministry of Health showed that the incidence rate of kidney cancer increased on average by 2.5 percent annually, with men aged 55 to 65 at particular risk.

"It has now become the 10th most common cancer type among men and will be on the rise in the future," said Ma Jianhui, a leading doctor at the Department of Urological Surgical Oncology of the Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

According to Ma, kidney cancer includes renal cell cancer, which forms in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products, and renal pelvis cancer, which forms in the center of the kidney where urine collects.

The first kind accounts for more than 90 percent of all kidney cancer cases, he said.

Currently, the incidence rate of kidney cancer stands at 4.7 per 100,000, official statistics showed.

Up to 40 percent of the newly diagnosed patients on the mainland were already at the late stage of the disease, according to him.

"Without treatment they would die within 10 months," he said.

Given that sufferers showed no specific symptoms, particularly at an early stage, Ma urged people above 40 years old to undergo examinations for early detection and intervention.

"A common B-scan works well to detect kidney cancer," he added.

Current treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy, medical experts said.

In the latest development, a target therapy marketed as Afinitor by Novartis has just been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration to treat kidney cancer on the Chinese mainland.

"That would help late stage patient with improved treatment," Ma said.

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