Jul 29, 2019 Sandra

In the previous article, we mentioned the importance of cancer advocacy to bring attention to areas of need in terms of cancer services in South Africa. Here are the eight challenges that were found in the research1. ONE: Emotional challenges  The total lack of psychosocial support services. The sparsity of psychosocial support services was reported in both the public and private oncology services in SA. Only a small number of patients could access support from a few cancer charities. The management of distress associated with cancer is a core part of the treatment protocol and is not sufficiently prioritised in SA oncology…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
Salomé Meyer informs us of the recent picket held outside the WHO Fair Pricing Forum at Emperors Palace, Gauteng. Civil society meeting “Cancer is the new HIV!” is how Mark Heywood, former executive director of Section27, described the cancer crisis in SA at the Civil Society Stakeholder meeting arranged between Cancer Alliance and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), in April.  The reality is with the successful treatment of people living with HIV, many are now living longer than expected and are facing co-morbidities, such as cancer.  At this meeting, it was agreed that Cancer Alliance, TAC, Section27 and organised labour…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
All cancer survivors and people touched by cancer are encouraged to step up and add their voice to the efforts made by Cancer Alliance to address the cancer care crisis in SA. Why should cancer patients be involved in advocacy? As cancer advocates, we are the watchdogs regarding improved service delivery to cancer patients; getting more affordable pricing of cancer medication for all South Africans; and ensuring that cancer policies and strategic plans are implemented.  The current breakdown of healthcare services in the state sector is of great concern and we need to be the voice asking and pushing for change and…

Feb 5, 2019 Sandra

Lynette van Schaik, a mother of two, tells us how immunotherapy killed her aggressive Stage 4 melanoma cancer. Lynette van Schaik (37) lives in Nigel, Gauteng with her husband, Hein, and their sons, Alexander and Ruben, aged 13  and 10. Stage 3 melanoma My first encounter with melanoma was in 2010 when I had a mole removed from my back. It didn’t display any warning signs, even my doctor wasn’t worried. When the tests came back it was Stage 3 melanoma, and a wider excision was needed. I didn’t get any other treatment as the treating doctor didn’t think it was…

Jun 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…

Mar 26, 2018 Laurelle Williams

Considering the 20th annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW), held during 8-15 April, Life Groenkloof Hospital Medical Centre: Suite 110 Groenkloof 0181 will be offering free cancer screenings from 8:00 to 18:00 on 11 April 2018.   In 2018, it is estimated that there will be more than 120,000 new cases of oral, head and neck cancer diagnosed, and unfortunately, many individuals will not be aware of the cancer until it has reached an advanced stage. Oral, head and neck cancers now ranked in the top six cancers worldwide. The US Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA), along…

Feb 7, 2018 Sandra

Kim White helps us understand the income tax implications of our medical costs.

When facing unforeseen medical bills it is important to gain a basic understanding of South African tax laws so that you have the ability to claim contributions and expenses in your tax return. Income tax law and rules can be a little tricky but a good starting point is grasping what the law says and how to apply it to your current situation. It’s also strongly advisable to seek the assistance of a tax practitioner so he/she can well apply the laws and allowances relative to…

Feb 7, 2018 Sandra

Gastrointestinal toxicity can occur following irradiation of thoracic, abdominal, or pelvic malignancies if gastrointestinal structures are located within the radiation therapy (RT) field. Dr Sudeshen Naidoo explains further.

The incidence and severity of RT side effects depend upon the site, volume of tissue exposed, and treatment schedule, including total dose, dose per fraction, and type of radiation. Other risk factors for radiation-induced GI toxicity include the use of concomitant chemotherapy. 1. Oesophagitis Normal oesophageal mucosa undergoes continuous cell turnover and renewal. Acute radiation oesophagitis is primarily due to effects on the basal epithelial layer. This causes a thinning  of…

Dec 1, 2017 Sandra
Cape Town is the healthiest city in South Africa.The city has the highest number of people who are a healthy weight, plus they purchase the most vegetables and fruit when compared with South Africa’s other major cities. Discovery Vitality ObeCity Index 2017 This is according to the Discovery Vitality ObeCity Index 2017, which presents the latest insights on weight status (measured by Body Mass Index and waist circumference) and food purchasing behaviour of nearly half a million Vitality members in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth. “Insights from the Vitality ObeCity Index 2017 allow us to better…