Objectives: To determine stage-specific time-trends in renal cancer incidence.
Methods: We used population-based East Anglia data 1999-2016 (population similar to 2 million) on 5,456 primary renal cancer diagnoses, estimating stage-specific annual incidence using Poisson regression, allowing for changing time-trends, and adjusting for sex, age, and socioeconomic deprivation.
Results: Renal cancer incidence increased from 9.8-16.4 cases per 100,000 during 1999-2016. Incidence of Stage I, II, and III cases increased over time, most steeply for Stage I, with annual Incidence Rate Ratio [IRR] for Stage I of 1.09 (95 % CI 1.07-1.12) during 1999-2010; and 1.03 (1.00-1.05) during 2011-2016. In contrast, the annual incidence of Stage IV renal cancer decreased during most years, IRR of 0.99 (0.98-1.00) during 2003-2016.
Conclusion: The findings are consistent with both earlier detection of symptomatic renal cancer and increasing identification of asymptomatic lesions. However, the decreasing incidence of late-stage disease suggests genuine shifts towards earlier diagnosis.
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