March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month

Join with the AACR to find better ways to prevent and treat kidney cancer

Kidney Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer of the kidney is among the most common cancers in the United States, with approximately 81,610 new diagnoses and 14,390 deaths in 2024, according to federal estimates

Kidney cancer is also known as renal cell cancer. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type. Treatment often involves surgery to remove all or part of the affected organ. After surgery, doctors will often use chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells that remain. Treatment for some patients, particularly those with advanced disease, may include molecularly targeted therapeutics or immunotherapeutics.

Smoking is a risk factor for kidney cancer. So is misuse of certain pain medicines, including over-the-counter drugs. In addition, certain genetic conditions, such as von Hippel-Lindau disease, increase a person’s risk of developing kidney cancer.

the latest in kidney cancer research

In June 2023, the AACR held its inaugural AACR Special Conference on Advances in Kidney Cancer Research in Austin, Texas. This meeting brought together experts from basic, clinical, and translational backgrounds to update the status of the field, discuss the most relevant discoveries and their applications, and envision the conceptual and technological trends in research on kidney (or renal cell) cancer. 

The AACR blog, Cancer Research Catalyst, carried a preview of the meeting: “Q&A With M. Celeste Simon, PhD, FAACR, on Advances in Kidney Cancer Research.” Brief summaries of the scientific presentations are here.

One Person’s Story

Kidney cancer survivor Billy Foster and his wife, Renee Miles-Foster.

Billy Foster, a jazz musician and retired music teacher in Gary, Indiana, has been living with cancer of the kidney since 1996. He had surgery as his first treatment. After the cancer came back years later, he has had several new therapies and now has stable disease. Read his story here: Billy Foster: Focused on the Healing Power of Music

What the AACR is Doing in The Area of Kidney Cancer Research

Since 2012, the AACR has partnered with Kure It Cancer Research to support innovative translational research. W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, who is now director of the National Cancer Institute, is a renowned kidney or renal cell cancer researcher. While she was in academic medicine, she received support from the AACR and Kure It. She discussed how grant-funding partnerships like this provide critical support for cancer researchers.

for more information

Please see our page on Kidney Cancer, which includes detailed information on treatment.