June 1, 2018 Sandra
We hear how superhero, Lofentse Buthelezi, became the victor over childhood cancer. Lofentse Buthelezi (8) stays in Mondeor, Gauteng with his parents, Sithuli and Masetshego, and his baby sister. On the day of the interview, Lofentse plays outside. He told his father, Sithuli, beforehand that he wants to be outdoors with his friends so Sithuli must rather answer the questions. This is perfectly normal behaviour for an energetic eight-year-old, but most of all it shows that the little superhero is catching up on lost playing time. Diagnosed at age 5 Ironically, it was a fall off the jungle gym, at…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
Needless to say cancer treatment is traumatic for the patient and their loved ones. So, it may be outlandish to tell them to laugh through it, but laughing can help. Laughter therapy  Doctors in America have begun to include laughter therapy to compliment traditional treatments for cancer. Many hospitals around the world are now embedding ways to promote laughter in their treatment regime. Patient visits to a hospital area where laughter therapy is conducted is promoted, while laughter clubs are found outside of medical facilities too.  Benefits of laughing A good belly laugh comes packed with numerous benefits. It…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
Ivor Hobbs from the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) tells us how donated blood helps cancer patients. What are donated blood and blood products used for?  There are numerous uses for blood and blood products. The most common uses are:  Treatment of medical conditions, such as anaemia or cancer. Complications which arise during childbirth. Scheduled operations. Paediatric patients who have haematological issues and trauma.   Blood products are also used in the creation of immunoglobulins. These help  with preventing and treating conditions, such as rabies, shingles and tetanus. In addition, blood products are even used to make specialised eye…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
Dr Johann Kluge explains the causes, symptoms and treatment of mouth cancer. Mouth (oral cavity) cancer is a subdivision in the head and neck region. The mouth is confined by the anatomical borders that stretch from the lips (anteriorly) to include the tongue, floor of the mouth, cheeks, hard palate and gums (or gingiva). What is the incidence of mouth cancer? It’s the 11th most common malignancy. More than 90% of cancerous growths  in the mouth are squamous cell carcinomas, with the remainder being rarer tumours or tumours developing from the small salivary glands. Current oral cancer  statistics (US data): Overall…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
We learn about the specialised and complicated allogeneic stem cell transplants. Allogeneic transplants – obtained from a donor Allogeneic transplants, also known as an allograft or donor peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT), differ from autologous transplants in that the stem cells are not obtained from the patient’s body but from a donor who may be related, or a matched unrelated donor (MUD). This type of transplant is much more specialised than an autologous transplant and a lot more complicated. What diseases do allogeneic transplants treat? Acute myeloblastic leukaemia; acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) Chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) – this disease has…

June 1, 2018 Sandra

Andy Grant tells us about losing his mother to leukaemia at the age of 12, losing his lower limb while serving as a Royal Marine in Afghanistan, becoming the fastest one-legged amputee in the world over 10km, and wining gold at the 2014 Invictus Games.

Andy Grant (29) lives in Liverpool, United Kingdom. He has one child, Alba. When Andy was told his lower limb had to be amputated in 2010, due to stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine in 2009, his…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
Berna Harmse informs us about nutrition during childhood cancer. Cultivating healthy eating habits is part of the well-being of any child. Food helps build strength and strong immune systems and is also important for normal growth as well as brain development.  Children receiving cancer treatment need sufficient amounts of nutritious foods for all the same reasons, but with caution so as to prevent weight loss and long-term effects on normal development. The basics of good nutrition during childhood include: Eating regular balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Including fruit and vegetables daily (aim for at least…