Jul 29, 2019 Sandra
Cancer is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. This includes the funding of cancer treatment. Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health, expands on this. The incidence of cancer is increasing rapidly, for reasons that are not fully understood but which appear to be linked to lifestyle.  Discovery Health’s data shows that cancer cases increased by over 45% between 2011 and 2018, with almost 8 500 new cases in 2018 alone. As a result, the Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) has seen an increase of over 100% in the costs of cancer-related treatment, from R1,5bn in 2011 to over…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
Dr Jason Naicker tells us why the inactivated flu vaccine is best for most cancer patients. The flu vs. a common cold Influenza (flu) and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses. But they are caused by different viruses. Yet have similar symptoms.  In general, flu is worse and symptoms are more intense. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. And, colds generally don’t result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia or hospitalisations. Influenza According to the South African National Department of Health, influenza kills between 6 000 – 11 000 South Africans…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
Dr Nirasha Chiranjan informs us about the new developments in radiotherapy in the treatment of brain tumours. Radiotherapy can prolong survival in most malignant brain tumours and may be curative in others. In the setting of benign and malignant brain tumours, radiotherapy may be used solely; may be used before or after surgery; and may be used concurrently with chemotherapy.  Radiation works at a cellular level to damage the DNA of cancer cells thereby preventing cell division and inducing death of these cells1. The duration may vary from a single treatment to daily treatment for six weeks. Radiotherapy has evolved…

Mar 20, 2019 Sandra
Though Fareed Bruintjies’ (47) story encompasses just about everything that can go wrong in a cancer survivor’s journey, he’s emerged more determined than ever to do battle with his persistent illness.  With Fareed’s diagnosis, of multiple myeloma, carrying a median survival rate of four years, he accidentally bumped into a patient who’d survived the same cancer for 12 years in the chemotherapy room. That woman, 11 years his senior, had undergone multiple treatments for 10 years. He realised that there was strength in the support of fellow survivors. Her very existence confirmed the hope he’d picked up on, in…

Dec 3, 2018 Sandra

Discovery Health’s Oncology Healthcare Claims Tracker reports 10% increase in new cancer diagnosis, and R3 billion spent on oncology treatment in 2017. Zephania Msimang  Zephania Msimang is passionate about health screening tests. This prostate cancer survivor knows that the earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances of remission. It is experiences like Zephania’s that inform Discovery Health’s latest Oncology Healthcare Claims Tracker, revealing must-know trends related to cancer .  “I was having trouble passing urine,” says Zephania. Blood tests revealed prostate cancer. “I thought that the diagnosis was the end of my world as I knew it,” recalls the 60-year-old….

Mar 26, 2018 Sandra

It’s hard to imagine that cervical cancer affected the lives of two sisters in the same year, and in very different ways. Sisters, Alrita Groenewald and Tessa Supra, share their rare but moving story. The younger sister Alrita (41) was given less than 30% chance of survival, while her sister  Tessa Supra (46) chose to silently carry the burden of her subsequent diagnosis. Alrita’s cervical cancer diagnosis comes just after giving birth to her third child. In January 2015, Alrita, then six months pregnant, complained to her gynaecologist of excruciating back pain. Prevented from taking strong medication due to her…

Feb 7, 2018 Sandra

Any cancer diagnosis is traumatic and can cause confusion and anxiety, the team at the Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute have put together some guidelines to help you prepare as best as possible for your first oncology visit.

Before your appointment Bring someone with you – it is always good to have support, it will also help to have someone to make sense of everything that will be discussed. Draw up a list of your questions, often many concerns are forgotten while trying to absorb all the information from the appointment. During your appointment Questions to ask: What is…

Feb 7, 2018 Sandra

An Bakkes’ story is set to change the lives of mothers facing the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. Diagnosed during first pregnancy At the age of 34, An was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma metastatic cancer. She was pregnant with her first child. The shock of the diagnosis was one that her doctor couldn’t bear to give her when he first found out. “My doctor postponed my appointment until the end of the weekend as he didn’t know how to tell a pregnant woman she has Stage 4 cancer,” An recalls. She went through the remaining months of her pregnancy…

Dec 1, 2017 Sandra
Sanlam, in collaboration with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), has developed a support guide to equip family and friends with advice on how best to support a loved one fighting cancer. This guide is based on feedback from cancer patients and survivors about the kinds of support they received or wanted to receive during their treatment. In South Africa, 1 in 4 people is affected by cancer either directly or through diagnosis of a friend, family member or colleague. Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the country, with an incidence rate of 1 in every…