Too few people are aware that obesity is linked to kidney cancer
According to a new report, a large number of kidney cancer diagnoses come as a result of obesity.
The charity Cancer Research UK says that the number of people diagnosed with kidney cancers stood at 2,300 in 1975 but had grown to just over 9,000 in 2009 and being overweight is a large cause of this.
It is estimated that obesity increases the risk of kidney cancer by 70 per cent, which is higher than smoking at 50 per cent.
Too few people understand that being overweight increases the risk of kidney cancer. It also heightens the risk of breast, bowel and womb cancer due to it increasing the levels of some hormones in the body.
Over the past 35 years, levels of obesity have risen sharply, with almost 70 per cent of males and 60 per cent of females in the UK currently having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or higher.
Blood in the urine is a key indicator of kidney cancer and with early diagnosis the problem can usually be rectified thanks to surgery. Indeed, despite the higher number of cases, survival rates are currently 85 per cent greater than they were back in 1975.
"Over the last 10 years, Cancer Research UK has helped to develop new drugs which destroy the blood supply to the kidney cancers. These drugs control the disease in most patients but do not cure it,” Professor Tim Eisen, a Cancer Research UK kidney cancer expert at the University of Cambridge, said.
"It is best to prevent the problem in the first place - maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking are the best ways of doing that."
Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, added: "Too few people know about the significant cancer risks associated with being very overweight. While giving up smoking remains the best way to cut your chances of developing kidney cancer, the importance of keeping a healthy weight shouldn't be overlooked."