Kidney cancer is a serious and deadly disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and is resulting in a growing global burden on health care systems, as well as patients and families whose lives are changed forever by the disease. The global incidence of kidney cancer is predicted to rise 22 percent by 2020. For patients, health care professionals, and researchers alike many critical questions about kidney cancer remain unanswered, and the causes of kidney cancer still remain widely unknown.
More research is needed to understand the risk factors associated with kidney cancer and develop prevention strategies. Lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking, obesity and hypertension are linked to kidney cancer but require better understanding. Genetic factors and environmental causes also need further research.
The significant lack of answers to these questions is why the Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) is joining forces with kidney cancer organisations around the world to mark the first-ever World Kidney Cancer Q&A Day. On June 22, patients, carers, health care professionals and local patient organisations worldwide will be uniting to raise awareness for the disease.
“Making a significant difference in the lives of patients starts by increasing awareness – knowing the symptoms, knowing treatment options and knowing where to find support,” says Rose Woodward, co-founder and patient advocate from the KCSN. “Medical experts agree there is an opportunity for global collaboration to raise awareness about kidney cancer – because when we all work together we are stronger and can have a greater impact than we can alone.”
To mark the first World Kidney Cancer Day the International Kidney Cancer Coalition has launched the Kidney Cancer Q&A Day Quiz – available at www.WorldKidneyCancerDay.org – an interactive seven-question quiz that tests your knowledge about important facts about kidney cancer. For every quiz that’s completed online, $5 will be directed to a high-priority research project that will benefit patients worldwide.
A paper authored by leading experts, The Global Burden of Kidney Cancer: A Call to Action underscores the challenges faced in diagnosis and disease management – available for download at www.WorldKidneyCancerDay.org.
Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) is the UK’s largest patient-led network of kidney cancer patients, carers and family members. KCSN are helping to improve awareness of this devastating disease across the UK to ultimately improve patient outcomes.
KCSN are running a Go Green for Kidney Cancer campaign – people are asked to wear something green on the 22nd June and take a photo to share on social media. Members of the KCSN are also organising fundraising events, such as paragliding, tea parties, and cake sales throughout the month of June – see more at First World Kidney Cancer Day and the KCSN fundraising page.
Jon Birchall (56), a member of the KCSN, was diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer over three years ago following a misdiagnosis in 2010. Jon has subsequently had his left kidney removed and is having treatment for the cancer, which had unfortunately spread to his lungs. Jon has been instrumental in the NICE recommendation of nivolumab, having represented the KCSN as an expert patient at the NICE appraisal meeting. In 2015, Jon rode around the coast of mainland Britain on his Facing Up 2 Kidney Cancer quest to raise money for kidney cancer research and to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease to improve outcomes for all kidney cancer patients. Jon says: “Kidney cancer is simply summed up by four words – too little, too late. We need to be able to find and diagnose this disease sooner, treat it earlier, AND use more effective treatments to improve the dreadful mortality rates.”
Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) is the UK’s largest and most active patient-led and patient-managed kidney cancer charity. KCSN provides support and information to patients, survivors, carers and families affected by kidney cancer. KCSN has been supporting kidney cancer patients and carers since 2006. KCSN is a very special and unique type of charity. The members are all kidney cancer patients or carers to people with kidney cancer – and they provide a very special type of support to the members because they know what patients are going through. KCSN has many hundreds of members across the UK whose lives have been changed by kidney cancer; they readily share experiences and support each other using their combined patient and carer knowledge gathered over many years to ensure no-one has to face a diagnosis of kidney cancer alone. Learn more about KCSN at www.kcsn.org.uk.
The International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC) is an independent network of over 30 patient organisations from around the world that focus exclusively, or include a specific focus on, kidney cancer. The organisation was born from a very strong desire among various national patient groups to network, cooperate and share materials, knowledge, and experiences. All organisations are welcome. Kidney Cancer Support Network is an Affiliate Organisation of the International Kidney Cancer Coalition. Learn more about the International Kidney Cancer Coalition at www.ikcc.org.