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
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…

July 27, 2018 Sandra
Radiation oncologist, Dr Nirasha Chiranjan, educates us on how radiotherapy is used in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma. What are soft tissue sarcomas (STS)? STS are rare malignant tumours that arise from mesenchymal tissue (soft tissue) at any body site. They represent less than 1% of all newly diagnosed malignant tumours1. The most common sites are the extremities (limbs), trunk and retroperitoneum (abdominal cavity, usually internal)2. Therapeutic goals Before the introduction of radiotherapy for extremity STS, amputation was the standard of care which resulted in significant physical and psychological morbidity. In treating extremity STS, the major therapeutic goals are…

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
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…

March 26, 2018 Sandra

Sex is a powerful emotional experience and improves general health and well-being. Though, if you’re over the age of 60, sex can present challenges. Nonetheless, it’s possible, with better understanding and an open mind, for couples to have a physically and emotionally fulfilling sex life. Natural changes Naturally, sex might be different  when you’re 70 or 80 than when you’re twenty something. Your body has changed and your sexual functioning might not be the same. On the other hand, as an older adult, you may feel wiser than you were in your youth, and know what works best for you…