September 26, 2018 Sandra
Adri De Bruin tells us why strong is the new beautiful, especially when you are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Adri De Bruin (56) lives with her husband, Jan, in Mulbarton, Gauteng. They have an adult son, who lives in Australia. Diagnosis after family deaths The year 2017 was an extremely difficult year for Adri. Her mom was ill, she had Alzheimer’s, and after a series of complications she passed away in October. Then in November, Adri’s brother-in-law also passed away. At the time, Adri told her sister she felt like someone was strangling her as she was experiencing extreme pressure around…

September 26, 2018 Sandra
Many people don’t realise that burning red in the sun is the precursor to skin cancer. Just one bad burn can lead to years of skin issues, like skin cancer, particularly in later life. Skin cancer stats According to dermatologist, Dr Marc Roscher, there is a shortage of dermatologists in SA and majority of the population will never be screened for skin cancer.  This is extremely concerning, considering that SA has a very high incidence of skin cancer and one of the highest incidences of melanoma worldwide, as far as Caucasians are concerned. Therefore, awareness is key and early…

September 26, 2018 Sandra
We hear the remarkable story of how a partnership between a private oncology centre and a government hospital saved lives and proved the value of working together. The need and solution The East London CancerCare Oncology Centre planned to replace their linear accelerator. An alternative was needed for their patients to receive radiation therapy from February 2018 to June 2018. Frere Hospital was approached to provide a care management platform for the private patients during this time.  The process Eighty-four East London CancerCare patients were treated through 1523 treatment encounters at the Frere Hospital Oncology Unit, and were spared…

September 26, 2018 Sandra
We hear why honest communication is a cornerstone of good children’s palliative care. Good communication from all channels Communication is the cornerstone of all interaction and ensures relationship. However, poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, anxiety, resentment and, inevitably, a complete breakdown of trust.  Good communication practices in palliative care are crucial. Particularly when caring for very sick children and their families. This includes communication between the palliative care team members themselves; conversations with parents; communication between parents; and, most significantly, direct communication with the sick child.    A conspiracy of silence Children are among the most marginalised and vulnerable members of society…

September 26, 2018 Sandra
Prof Riana Bornman explains why black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men in South Africa. South African Prostate Cancer Study (SAPCS) The SAPCS has revealed that black men in SA have a higher risk of prostate cancer. This is because of their elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. This protein, known as PSA, is produced by both normal and malignant cells in the prostate gland and can signify prostate cancer risk. The focus of the research was on prostate cancer in black Southern African men of Bantu and Khoisan descent, to better understand…

September 26, 2018 Sandra
The chance of finding a matching bone marrow donor for a critically ill patient is just one in 100 000. But thanks to medical technology, shared international databases and the spirit of global cooperation, the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) regularly finds that perfect match. For a child or adult with a life-threatening blood disease, like leukaemia, a bone marrow transplant can offer the greatest gift imaginable:  a second chance at life.  Bone marrow transplantation is unique medical work. It involves destroying an individual’s entire immune system and replacing it with one from somebody in the general population who’s…

September 26, 2018 Sandra
The 5th Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON) conference was recently held at Century City Conference Centre, in Cape Town, and proved to be a successful and enlightening meeting. Central to ICON is the desire to increase access to affordable and sustainable cancer care, which in the modern oncology era is becoming ever more challenging. As a result, this year ICON chose to focus on outcomes and value-based care.  The intention of the meeting was to explore the important, but difficult, interface between ensuring the highest quality treatment and care for patients, while functioning within the financial limitations of the…