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Abdominal imaging behind trend toward earlier diagnosis of kidney cancer, researchers say.
MedPage Today (5/20, Neale) reported, "Renal cell carcinoma is being diagnosed earlier than it was more than a decade ago," according to a study published in the journal Cancer. Researchers found that the number "of cases diagnosed as stage I increased from 43 percent in 1993 to 57.1 percent in 2004 (P<0.001)," while "the percentage of cases diagnosed as stage II, III, or IV decreased significantly (P<0.001)" during the same time period. Of the "205,963 patients 18 and older who were diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma from 1993 through 2004," the researchers found that "50.6 percent were diagnosed with stage I disease, 26.7 percent with stage II or III, and 22.7 percent with stage IV." They attributed "the trend toward earlier diagnosis" to "the increasing use of abdominal imaging, which catches tumors in scans for other diseases."

I referred to this trend in an earlier post based on personal experience and this study supports it. Bear this in mind when Exelixis reports results for XL880 and other drugs for later stage kidney cancer. Also remember kidney cancer is still not very common. No need to rush out and get a CT scan (or hire a cancer sniffing dog ).

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