Kidney-related disease kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and road accidents combined - but many people don't even know they have it.
Which is why a morning tea - organised by Ward Kane, Cliff Foley, James Costello and Karen Rayner - was held at the Mudgee Dialysis Unit for Kidney Health Week (April 8-14).
Mudgee local, Ward Kane, has been on dialysis for the last 16 years.
The treatment, which he undergoes three times a week, is an external way of performing the task of the kidneys - removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood.
He described kidney disease as "insidious", because sufferers can lose 90 per cent of kidney function without experiencing any symptoms, during which time irreversible damage has been done.
And it's for this reason that of the 1.7 million people affected by the disease, 1.5 million aren't even aware that they have it.
So Ward said early detection is the key and taking a Kidney Risk Test is the first step. It's initially a urine test which will indicate if further blood tests are required.
"The message [of Kidney Health Week] is be more proactive about looking after your kidneys, because they can function at only 10 per cent before symptoms of kidney disease show," he said.
The message is be more proactive about looking after your kidneys, because they can function at only 10 per cent before symptoms of kidney disease show.Ward Kane
And added that given the kidneys' role in the body there are a number of knock-on effects; when they're unable to break down excess potassium, your heart suffers; they produce red blood cells, a lack of which can cause anemia; and kidney disease goes hand-in-hand with high blood pressure and diabetes.
Australians at risk of developing chronic kidney disease as those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, established heart problems, have had a previous stroke, a family history of kidney failure, are obese, smoke, have a history acute kidney injury, are aged 60-plus years or, are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.
To take Kidney Health Australia's online Kidney Risk Test, to find out if you are at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, and for more information, visit www.kidney.org.au