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
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
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…

Jul 29, 2019 Word for Word Media
Tanya Rubin explores the options of cancer survivors using a donor or surrogate to start or add to their family. Most people grow up believing that having children is a simple, easy part of life. But then enters a cancer diagnosis and infertility. Both are traumas and both raise questions that go to the very core of who we are: identity, roles, choices and life.  Sadness, loss, anger, regret, fear, guilt, anxiety and uncertainty are just some of the feelings you will face when dealing with cancer and infertility simultaneously.  Not all infertility journeys are the same. Each journey is a unique personal story,…

Mar 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
Satisfying sexual activity doesn’t rely on full physical perfection, and often after a diagnosis of cancer, a couple can connect and find levels of intimacy greater than what they had previously. Dr Anthony Smith explains. The diagnosis and management of cancer causes a radical disruption to normal life and can be devastating to the sexual lives of men. Over the last decade advancing therapies have allowed more people to survive cancer, resulting in longer periods of time over which disturbances in sexual function can occur. How cancer affects a man’s sexual health can broadly be divided into three areas: …

Mar 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
Berna Harmse, a dietitian, shares seven tips to eat right. International guidelines1 apply for those who want to reduce their  cancer risk and for cancer survivors.  So, eating well may help you reduce your risk of cancer and beat cancer in a variety of ways. If you have cancer, eating well can positively support treatment. This may help you live well for years to come after treatment. 1. Keep a healthy weight One in five people who die from cancer have an overweight or obese body mass index. But, exactly how weight affects cancer risk is unclear. Excess weight increases your risk by 50% for oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Weight in the belly area…

Feb 5, 2019 Word for Word Media

Wilmarie Rheeders, a clinical analyst at Medipost Pharmacy, tells us the benefits of door-to-door medication delivery. These days, almost anything can be ordered from the convenience of your home or office. You can order food; designer clothes; groceries; gifts; or even a ride to the airport with a click of a button. There is an abundance of companies offering exactly what you need, when you need it, to your doorstep. These on-demand modern conveniences make life so much easier and therefore most businesses now offer online shopping and door-to-door delivery.  Over the past few years, door-to-door delivery of medication has…

Sep 26, 2018 Word for Word Media
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…

Sep 26, 2018 Word for Word Media
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…

Jul 27, 2018 Word for Word Media
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…

Jun 1, 2018 Word for Word Media
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…

Jun 1, 2018 Word for Word Media
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…

Jun 1, 2018 Word for Word Media

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…

Mar 26, 2018 Word for Word Media

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…

Mar 26, 2018 Word for Word Media

Kate Paterson (31) recollects the days of her autologous stem cell transplant and high-dose chemotherapy. The first time I was allowed outside was a Sunday morning. The skeleton staff nurses delivered the results of my 2am blood tests without ceremony. I snuck a peek. My white cell count had been building slowly but fiercely from a flat 0 to a magnificent 1. This meant many things to me. I would be able to see the faces of my family again, no longer hidden behind masks. And, soon, I would be going home. But, at that moment, it meant I could…

Feb 7, 2018 Word for Word Media

An immuno-oncology drug, Pembrolizumab, recently received regulatory approval by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. Dr Ronwyn van Eeden tells us more about the new drug.

Pembrolizumab has been registered in SA for two types of cancers. The first is a type of lung cancer, called non-small cell lung cancer. It’s registered for patients who have failed or     progressed after initial treatment, such as chemotherapy. Usually the drug works better if the expression of PD-L1 (programmed cell death ligand-1) on the cancer is more than 51% as shown in clinical trials. The amount of PD-L1 on the…