Cancer Research UK believes that obesity can be blamed for a surge in kidney cancer in Britain.
The charity indicates that approximately 20,000 additional cases in the last 10 years can be traced back to Britain’s bulging waistlines.
New cases of kidney cancer have risen rather alarmingly, with Cancer Research UK stating that such conditions have escalated by 40% over the last past decade.
Obesity is implicated in approximately one-quarter of kidney cancers, with smoking also cited in relation to approximately 25% of the remainder.
However, although the number of people smoking has declined significantly, obesity continue to rise.
Cancer Research UK suggests that there will be a further 26% of kidney cancer cases by 2035, effectively making it one of the fastest-growing forms of the disease.
This is also a particularly virulent strain of cancer, with kidney cancer killing over 50% of those who develop it within just 10 years.
Although it is possible to operate on kidney cancer, it is often not picked up early due to a lack of symptoms.
The symptoms of kidney cancer – when there are any – include blood in urine, a persistent pain below the ribs in the lower back or side, and a lump or swelling in the side.
Kidney cancer is sometimes picked up during urine tests carried out for other reasons.
Dr Julie Sharp of Cancer Research UK indicated that the figures are cause for concern, and that more must be done to address the obesity epidemic.
“It’s concerning to see kidney cancer cases rising like this. Being overweight or obese is linked to 13 types of cancer, including kidney which is becoming more and more common. Similar to smoking, where damage to cells builds up over time and increases the risk of cancer, damage from carrying excess weight accumulates over a person’s lifetime.”
While Sarah Toule of the World Cancer Research Fund encouraged Britons to maintain their ideal body weight, suggesting that this would have a massive impact on the number of kidney cancer cases.
“In fact, if everyone was a healthy weight, around 25,000 cancer cases could be prevented every year in the UK. There are simple ways people can help maintain a healthy weight, such as cutting out high-calorie food and drinks and doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.”
Toule called on the government to do more in order to prevent people from making unhealthy choices.
“The government also plays a vital role in ensuring strong measures are in place to help the healthy choice be the easy choice. These include restricting junk food marketing to children and reducing the amount of sugar found in everyday products.”