Oct 28, 2019 Word for Word Media

The three most common cancer treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These may be applied on their own or in a combination of one other. Icon Oncology takes a closer look at radiotherapy and its experience. Receiving radiation therapy Radiotherapy is a common form of therapeutic treatment that uses ionising radiation to eradicate or damage cancer cells. While the ideal situation is to cut the cancer out, it can be attached to the blood vessels and lymphatic tissue and this might not be possible. In this case, radiotherapy, which is a non-invasive treatment, might be recommended. Radiotherapy takes place at…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Sixteen-year-old Cameron Martin shares how his family and friends have helped him adjust since he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Cameron Martin (16) lives in Weltevredenpark, Gauteng with his parents, Roger and Samantha, and his younger sister, Caitlyn.  When meeting the polite teenager, one would never think he has just undergone major surgery and cancer treatment. His relaxed and level-headed attitude is supreme.  Diagnosis in 2018 Being an avid sportsman, playing cricket, hockey and at times athletics, Cameron automatically assumed his sore knee (right) was a sports injury. He went for physiotherapy but the ‘injury’ kept on recurring.  With Cameron’s…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media

We hear how easy and convenient it is to order medicine and health appliances via Medipost. Shopping for one’s medicine and health appliance requirements can be an inconvenient and even an uncomfortable experience if you have to visit a pharmacy in person. Particularly, if you need to request health-related items of a personal nature. South Africa’s largest national courier pharmacy has made it easier than ever to order everything from self-medication products and chronic medicines to ostomy and urology appliances, as well as continence care products from the privacy of your home. “There are few things more precious than health…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Dr David Eedes, an Icon oncology advisor, shares advice on what questions to ask your doctors and how to navigate the initial steps of your cancer diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis usually comes as a shock. It’s a life-changing event and can cause chaos and anxiety for you, your family and friends. While there is no right way of dealing with your diagnosis, here are tips to help you manage this emotionally difficult and confusing time. Start with a plan Having a clear plan of action as soon as possible after the diagnosis is made is useful in this initial…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month; Dr Nirasha Chiranjan educates us on the two most common gynaecological cancers in South Africa. Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month aims to encourage women to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease and preventive strategies.  It’s a month that encourages women to openly speak about their health without shame or embarrassment.  It highlights the need for better sex education amongst both men and women.  Early detection can lead to effective treatment and a better prognosis. What are gynaecological cancers? Malignancies that develop in a woman’s reproductive tract. These include cervical-, ovarian-, vulvar-endometrial- and…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
We hear how a balanced diet can assist you through your cancer treatment by helping you regain your strength. A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. As you navigate this challenging time, it may be reassuring to know that your reactions are natural but also to recognise that there are different ways to manage the emotional and physical impacts of your condition. Treatment options for cancer may take a lot out of your body and the side effects of treatments can make this harder. These treatment options may cause you to lose your appetite and energy, which could put…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Sensei Ilze van der Merwe tells us how Kids Kicking Cancer (KKC) is giving hope and strength to childhood cancer patients and their families. Origin of KKC Kids Kicking Cancer was founded, in 1999, by Elimelech Goldberg, a black belt karate instructor and clinical assistant professor of paediatrics at Wayne State University in Michigan, USA.  The program is now running in over 60 hospitals, across five countries, and has positively impacted the lives of more than 6 000 children and their families, as well as the healthcare professionals treating them. How does KKC help children? KKC is designed to empower and uplift children who are battling…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Talking about death with those close to us is not about being ghoulish or giving up on life. But, a way to ensure greater quality of life. Lee Last explains what an advance directive is and why it is essential. Two classes of advance directives (AD) A living will is a document that enables a patient to refuse unwanted life-sustaining treatment (by withholding or withdrawing it) when they are no longer able to do so, due to irreversible decision-making incompetence. A durable power of attorney for healthcare is a document that enables a patient to transfer their healthcare (including medical) decision-making to another…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
The first South African Congress of Oncology (SACO) was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in August. The inaugural South African Congress of Oncology reflects the strength in multi-disciplinary teamwork. It kicked-off with two pre-congress workshops: supportive and palliative care focussing on communication, and neuro-oncology in collaboration with Society for Neuro-Oncology Sub-Saharan Africa (SNOSSA) and Paediatric Brain Tumour Workgroup (PBTW). The first Archbishop Desmond Tutu Distinguished Lecture was delivered by Prof David Stones, retiring HOD of Paediatric Oncology at the University of Free State, speaking on the role and need for early diagnoses.  International speakers Our international…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Dr Sithembile Ngidi describes the different types of hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer. To understand the who, what, where, why and how of hormone therapy, it’s important to start at the basics. That would be understanding the driving hormone behind prostate cancer and its treatment: testosterone.  Testosterone  This is the primary male hormone that’s key in the growth and function of sex organs, like the testes, prostate and other tissues.  Testosterone is an androgen (a natural steroid hormone) and promotes growth in tissues with androgen receptors. It exerts two types of effects on the body: Anabolic effects – growth of…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Trusted since 1909, Five Roses consistently delivers superior quality, expertly blended teas. Its teas are sourced from around the world by skilled Tea Master, Dinesh Wijeyawardana.  With over 30 years’ experience, Dinesh is trusted with the Five Roses recipe and the responsibility of ensuring unsurpassed flavour, strength and aroma in every cup of Five Roses Tea. The Five Roses range caters for all occasions and tastes, with its wide range of blends and flavours that deliver the perfect cup of tea every time.  This year (from June to October), Five Roses is the proud tea sponsor of the Cuppa For CANSA…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Andrew Martin answers some questions so we have a clear understanding of the legalities of fertility preservation. What does fertility preservation encompass? It’s the process of saving or protecting gametes (eggs and sperm), embryos and reproductive tissue so that a person, or a nominated recipient or partner, can use them to have biological children in the future.  What is the law surrounding posthumous (born after the death of a father/mother) reproduction and the posthumous use of gametes/tissue? In short, there is no specific law in South Africa which regulates posthumous reproduction and the posthumous use of gametes/tissue.  In the absence of a legally binding…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Specialist radiation oncologist, Dr Maríza Tunmer, educates us on radiotherapy-related skin reactions and how to prevent and manage them. Radiation dermatitis Radiation dermatitis is the medical term for skin reactions related to radiotherapy and is a common side effect experienced by patients receiving radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment. It’s the result of inflammatory effects in both the superficial layer of the skin (epidermis) as well as the layers just beneath this (dermis). These effects may impact a patient’s quality of life and may cause discomfort and pain. It may even result in interruptions in treatment and this may negatively affect control of the…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Berna Harmse helps you get your kitchen and diet ready for the warmer months. Declutter – get rid of all the junk in your kitchen Processed sugary and fatty goods should be enjoyed sparingly. Here are items that must not be part of your weekly grocery shopping: Processed and refined carbohydrates Sugary sweets and cakes, biscuits or tarts Potato and maize-based chips Sugar-based sauces Crumbed frozen meat and fish products Pastries  Sugar-coated breakfast cereals Nuts that are roasted, salted, or sugar-coated Milk chocolates Cool drinks and cordials  The kitchen essentials Dairy Milk, and reduced-fat cheese (cottage cheese, feta, goats cheese and…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
There is numerous terminology when it comes to research and trials; Kyara Bergstrom breaks down the basics for us. Many patients believe that clinical research involves only the testing of new medications or devices. Though, let’s look at the definition of clinical: “Relating to the observation and treatment of actual patients rather than theoretical or laboratory studies.” Hence, clinical trials. With this said, healthy volunteers are also needed so that researchers can compare their results to the results of the patients with the illness being studied. Types of research Treatment research can be an intervention, such as medication, new devices,…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
We catch up with lung cancer patient, Mahendra Modi (79), who was on our Nov/Dec cover, in 2016, and hear how well he is doing on osimertinib (Tagrisso), an oral medication. Mahendra Modi (79) lives in Mulbarton, Gauteng with his wife. He has three children and seven grandchildren. Background Mahendra was diagnosed, in 2014, with Stage 4 lung cancer associated with an EGFR mutation. This type of lung cancer is not related to cigarette smoking but is driven by a mutation (changing of the structure of a gene), called an EGRF mutation.  Due to the stage of Mahendra’s cancer, surgery was not an…