Britain’s obesity crisis could be to blame for the rising rates of kidney cancer.
The condition is one of the fastest growing forms of the disease and can have devastating consequences.
Obesity has caused around 20,000cases of the cancer over the past decade in the UK, according to new data.
It is unclear exactly why carrying excessive weight puts you at risk, but it may be related to insulin resistance.
According to Cancer Research, kidney cancer has increased by 40 per cent in just 10 years and could rise a further 26 per cent by 2035.
Obesity has caused around 20,000 kidney cancer cases in the past decade in the UK
Kidney cancer usually affects people aged 60 to 70 and is rare in people younger than 50.
Symptoms include blood in your urine and a persistent pain or lump in your back or side.
Aside from obesity, causes include smoking, high blood pressure and a family history of the disease.
Surgery may be required to remove part or all of the kidney.
Source: NHS Choices
Obesity is linked to 13 types of cancer.
It is thought to cause kidney cancer as obese people are more likely to suffer from insulin resistance, causing excessively high levels of the hormone, which is processed in the kidneys.
This may result in kidney cells dividing more rapidly.
Father-of-four Adam Freeman, 46, from South London, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2013. He had surgery to remove the cancerous organ and is now in remission.
He said: ‘When it comes to my lifestyle, I would say that the little devil on my one shoulder won over the angel on my other, so I ducked exercise and ate badly a bit too often.
‘Now, since my diagnosis, I try to listen to the angel rather than the devil on my shoulder.
‘I have tried to make things more habitual and rarely skip exercise or make bad food or drink choices. I regularly cycle to work to try and keep fit, and I have also started doing yoga.
‘Of course it’s challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you are juggling a career and family. I am only human!
‘But that’s why things have to be a habit so it becomes part of your daily life. We talk much more as a family about healthy choices, particularly trying to make the children aware of how much sugar is in drinks and breakfast cereals.’
Every year there are around 11,900 cases of kidney cancer in the UK – 7,400 cases in men and 4,500 casesin women. About 4,300 people die annually from the disease.
Father-of-four Adam Freeman, 46, (pictured)makes good food choices and maintains a healthy weight after beating his kidney cancer diagnosis. He cycles to work and does yoga
Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information, Cancer Research UK, said: ‘It’s concerning to see kidney cancer cases rising like this.
‘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.
‘Making small changes in eating, drinking and being physically active that you can stick with in the long term, is a good way to get to a healthy weight – and stay there.’
This comes after a trial found that giving the drugs ipilimumab and nivolumab together cleared kidney tumours from up to a tenth of patients whose cancer had spread to other organs, after four months of treatment.
The tumoursalso shrunk in 40 per cent of patients.