March is National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month. If you or someone you love has been affected by this disease — among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women in the United States — March is a great time to get involved and start advocating.
Kidney Cancer Awareness Month encourages all Americans to check up on their kidney health, which includes getting a kidney screening and having a conversation with your doctor about your risk.
Here’s how to show your support during National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month.
Certain people have a higher risk of getting kidney cancer. Risk factors include:
- high blood pressure
- family history of kidney cancer.
If you have any of these risk factors, take advantage of free kidney health screenings organized by the American Kidney Fund. These screenings are held in various cities throughout the country during the month of March.
Screening is important, even if you feel OK. Early stage kidney cancer doesn’t cause symptoms.
Along with scheduling your own screening, encourage your family members and friends to get screenings, too.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) organizes kidney walks throughout the year, including ones during the month of March in support of National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month.
You can walk alone or as a team. You can collect donations from those in your inner circle. Funds collected will benefit kidney disease research, helping improve care and treatment for those affected by the disease.
Visit the NKF’s website to locate upcoming kidney walks near you.
Show your support by wearing an orange ribbon during the month of March.
People might not be aware that orange represents awareness of kidney cancer. Wearing an orange ribbon or pin on your shirt can spark a conversation and move others to show their support, too.
Show your support by setting aside time to volunteer at an event during Kidney Cancer Awareness Month. Visit the NFK’s website to locate volunteer opportunities near you.
You can volunteer at a local kidney cancer walk, educate others on the importance of kidney health, and assist with kidney screenings.
To make an even bigger impact, encourage family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to volunteer some of their time as well.
If you’re not in a position to volunteer or join a walk, make a donation to support kidney cancer research and the development of new treatments.
Sharing different hashtags on social media can also be a way to raise awareness for kidney cancer during March. These hashtags may include:
World Kidney Day is the second Thursday of March each year.
Include these hashtags in the caption of your social media posts, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also include hashtags in your email signature.
If someone you know has been affected by kidney cancer, another way to show support is to change your social media profile photo to a picture of the person, either in honor or remembrance of them.
Each year, kidney cancer advocacy groups travel to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to meet with legislators and advocate for increased patient support and funding for kidney cancer research.
If possible, consider joining these groups in Washington.
The month of March is an excellent time to show your support for kidney cancer and spread the word about screenings. With so many ways to help, everyone can pitch in to help bring attention to the condition.