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J Urol. 2007 Jun;177(6):2006-18; discussion 2018-9.

Kidney cancer.

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Division of Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.



We quantified the burden of kidney cancer in the United States by identifying trends in the use of health care resources and estimating the economic impact of the disease.


The analytical methods used to generate these results were described previously.


The incidence of all stages of kidney cancer is increasing in America, particularly T1 disease. Rates are increasing more rapidly in the black than in the white population and survival is worse for black individuals at all stages of diagnosis. Total expenditures for kidney cancer were $401 million in 2000, representing a 46% increase from 1994. Approximately 85% of health care dollars spent on kidney cancer were for inpatient care with steady increases through the 1990s. Regarding treatment, more partial nephrectomies were performed in Medicare patients as the 1990s progressed. Health Care Cost and Utilization Project data showed an increase in the number of inpatient hospitalizations but this trend was not seen in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data set. Length of stay decreased from 1994 to 2000 in the Health Care Cost and Utilization Project database. The adoption of laparoscopic techniques began to appear in the Veterans Affairs data set in 2001 and it increased thereafter.


Increasing trends in the incidence of and costs associated with kidney cancer have been apparent for more than 10 years. As the population ages and the prevalence of risk factors such as obesity and hypertension increases, the burden of disease will increase significantly. Consideration should be given to expanding tumor registries such as Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results. Treatment databases could better characterize the cost and effectiveness of treatment for metastatic disease and of trends in the adoption of laparoscopy.

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