A charity survey has highlighted an “urgent need” for earlier diagnosis of kidney cancer, revealing that, in 51 percent of cases, the disease is detected from scans relating to other health conditions.

Kidney Cancer UK says it is disturbed with the finding, which is significantly higher than the previous year’s result of 28 percent, and that it “highlights the need for more awareness campaigns of the disease” targeting both patients and healthcare professionals.

The Kidney Cancer Survey 2018 also revealed that 40 percent of those surveyed were not given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) when diagnosed, leaving patients without access to a vital source of information and support.

The charity said that “this lack of aftercare” was also reflected in the 27 percent who said they felt abandoned after surgery and wanted more contact with health professionals, up from 24 percent from the year ago period.

In other findings, 29 percent of people reported not knowing what type of kidney cancer they have, which is up from 19 percent a year ago, while 52 percent of people said they were ‘not given enough information about kidney cancer’, up from 49 percent.

The charity also voiced concern over the slow uptake of new treatments such as robotic surgery and cryoablation. According to the survey, while the number of patients undergoing robotic surgery has doubled it still stands at just 4.3 percent, while uptake of cryoablation is just 2.96 percent.

“Both treatments are less invasive, offer quicker recovery times and require shorter hospital stay for patients and as such elevate pressure on much needed NHS hospital beds,” it noted.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Nick Turkentine of Kidney Cancer UK said they reflect a shortfall in awareness of the disease across the country. “We ask all areas of the medical profession to put kidney cancer on their radar and for people to look out for any of the 10 signs* of kidney cancer.”

* Blood in the urine; persistent low back pain; pain in the side, between the ribs and hipbone; a lump or mass in the area of the kidneys; persistent high temperature; night sweats; persistent cough; tiredness; weight loss; and loss of appetite