Renal (kidney) cancer cases have risen to a record high in the UK, and experts are blaming the rise on obesity.
Figures from Cancer Research UK show that there were 9,042 cases of kidney cancer in Britain in 2009, compared with just under 2,300 in 1975. Kidney cancer is now the eighth most common cancer in Britain.
Cancer of the kidney most commonly affects adults aged 50-80 years, with 64 being the average age of diagnosis. Common symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in your urine, constant pain below your ribs and a lump in your abdomen, but in around half of cases there are no symptoms.
And whilst smoking increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 per cent, experts warn that obesity makes you 70 per cent more likely to develop the disease.
In fact, Cancer Research UK estimates that about a quarter of kidney cancer cases in men and 22 per cent in women are linked to being overweight.
And being overweight does not only increase your risk of developing kidney cancer but also breast, bowel and womb cancer. Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said:
"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."
Whilst smoking rates in the UK have fallen over the last 35 years, the number of overweight Brits has risen. Nearly 70 per cent of men and almost 60 per cent of women in the UK have a BMI of 25 or more.
A recent study published in the Lancet Journal warned that almost half of British men and 4 in 10 women could be clinically obese within 20 years. The rising figure is estimated to cost the NHS an extra £2 billion a year.
Some health insurers offer discounted gym memberships for private medical insurance holders to try and encourage healthy lifestyles. Compare health insurance quotes now to find a policy that suits you.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012