World Kidney Cancer Day 2021 takes place on Thursday 17 June. The theme of this year’s campaign is “We need to talk about how we’re feeling” to raise awareness and address the psychosocial issues experienced by kidney cancer patients, both within the UK and on a global scale. This campaign has been confounded by the current COVID-19 pandemic and the shielding of vulnerable cancer patients. We are leading the promotional activities in the UK to help get people talking about how they are feeling to ease anxiety and improve wellbeing. Activities include videos and social media campaigns, in addition to the opportunity for people to create their own Personalised Psychosocial Wellbeing Report (PPWR).
When you have kidney cancer, life can be overwhelming, challenging and often lonely. Anxiety, depression, fear of your cancer coming back or simply ‘not feeling right’ are almost universal to all those living with a kidney cancer diagnosis. A 2018 study of patients worldwide showed 96% experienced psychosocial problems of some kind. It also showed that around half suffer in silence, rarely talking about how they’re feeling with either health professionals or family and friends. Whilst this is a big problem, studies would indicate that those who do open up and discuss how they’re feeling often find their anxiety eases simply by talking about it.
Conversations can also surface simple lifestyle changes that can be implemented, delivering a positive impact on emotional wellbeing. And talking about psychosocial issues with a health professional can be a pathway to clinical support that may transform your kidney cancer journey. As well as improving mental health, research shows a sense of wellbeing and a positive attitude can improve treatment outcomes. That’s why World Kidney Cancer Day 2021 is setting out to raise awareness and address the psychosocial issues experienced by kidney cancer patients and to start conversations about how they can be alleviated through social, lifestyle and clinical interventions. To improve the lives of kidney cancer patients worldwide ‘We need to talk about how we’re feeling’.
To help get patients talking about emotional wellbeing, the International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC) has developed a Personalised Psychosocial Wellbeing Report. By answering nine simple questions you get a snapshot of your psychosocial wellbeing today with suggestions to help you feel better in the future. Click to create your personalised report today
If, after completing your Personalised Psychosocial Wellbeing Report, you may feel you need extra support in addition to that provided by your healthcare team, GP or from the KCSN. Ask your GP to refer you to any available mental health and wellbeing services. You could also join the KCSN support group to discuss how you are feeling with other people with similar experiences to your own.
The following help sheet gives an overview of the types of psychosocial help that is currently available to you. The NHS offers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), guided self-help and counselling for depression. Read more on the NHS website.
Some of the therapies listed in our help sheet will only be available privately through a qualified psychotherapist: KCSN counselling help sheet
The following groups and ambassadors supported our online campaign reaching a combined audience of over 147,000 Twitter ‘impressions’ on World Kidney Cancer Day itself:
- @BAUNnurses – British Association of Urological Nurses (BAUN)
- @BenBlack – social media influencer.
- @TheCrick- The Crick Institute
- @royalmarsdenNHS- The Royal Marsden Hospital
- @DWindass10 – Dean Windass
- @mickcooper77 – Mike Cooper
The KCSN social media campaign was a great success and included Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We developed a World Kidney Cancer Day Facebook frame, which was used by 137 people on their profile picture. This increased our reach among Facebook users to raise awareness of WKCD and kidney cancer through connections made by the people who used the frame.
In addition to the social media campaign, KCSN raised awareness of World Kidney Cancer Day through the use of WKCD imagery on the home page of the KCSN website and a dedicated WKCD page with links to the counselling video, counselling fact sheet, psychosocial wellbeing report and fundraising page (see above).
In June alone the number of sessions increased 78% on our WKCD website page, whilst the number of page views increased 101%.
During the month of WKCD, 82% of KCSN website users were new to the site, with more than 60% of the audience residing in the UK and 25% of the audience in United States of America. Visitors to the KCSN website peaked on WKCD.
On World Kidney Cancer Day itself, KCSN hosted a Click and Chat virtual event (see above) where patients and carers shared their experiences and socialised together. We also developed a psychosocial wellbeing help sheet, which describes the different types of psychosocial help available and where to go to get this support (see above).
The KCSN campaign helped to spread the word, raise awareness of kidney cancer and start conversations about ‘how we are feeling’. Some of our members/supporters had fun and shared their photos wearing our T-shirt (see above), while at the same time generating some much needed funds for the charity.
World Kidney Cancer Day has not only helped to raise awareness of this devastating disease on a global basis, but has also helped to highlight the benefit of people sharing how they feel and the valuable work the KCSN does supporting patients and families with kidney cancer throughout the UK.
The International Kidney Cancer Coalition
The International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC), a global body of over 40 patient organisations focusses on improving the lives of people affected by kidney cancer, and established World Kidney Cancer Q&A Day in 2017. KCSN are proud to be a founding member of the IKCC and we support this global event, the aim of which is to raise awareness of kidney cancer.
World Kidney Cancer Day has not only helped to raise awareness of this devastating disease on a global basis, but has also helped to highlight the valuable work of the KCSN supporting patients and families with kidney cancer throughout the UK. It has also helped to raise some much needed funds for the KCSN, and we are especially grateful to the sponsors of this event in the UK for helping to make the day a great success:
Novartis, Eisai and EUSA Pharma have provided part funding for this campaign but have had no editorial input into the programme or content of the campaign.