July 27, 2018 Sandra
Annie Izzard was given six months to live when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1987. Thirty-one years later, she is fighting fit and even completed The Comrades Marathon in 2000. Annie Izzard (76) lives in Kloof, Kwa-Zula Natal with her husband Michael. She has two stepchildren and five granddaughters. Scotland, 1987 Annie was 45 years old when she noticed blood in her urine. The loss of blood was so bad that one day she passed out. She was rushed to the gynaecology ward at a hospital as it was thought she needed a hysterectomy.  Though after numerous…

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…

July 27, 2018 Sandra
We learn about the different types of salivary gland tumours, both benign and malignant. Salivary gland tumours are rare cancers in the head and neck region. They can develop in any of the different sub-regions of the head and neck, with the most frequent (80-85%) encountered in the parotid. The parotids are the largest of the salivary glands, located just in front and below the ears. Parotid gland tumours are often benign (non-cancerous) (75%). Tumours arising from the submandibular gland, sublingual gland, or the minor salivary glands are usually more likely   to be malignant (cancerous).  The most common…

July 27, 2018 Sandra

Johan Drotskie shares how an unrelated bone marrow transplant saved his life. Johan Drotskie (47) lives in Randburg, Gauteng with his wife and their four-legged kids. Wednesday, 30 July 2003   The day had finally arrived. My family is gathered anxiously in the hospital room as we await the arrival of my unrelated donor bone marrow. A middle-aged gentleman enters the room with a cooler bag, extracts a drip bag with 100ml of bone marrow which he connects. An hour later, I have new bone marrow, a new chance at life and a brighter future.   Late 1994/early 1995   I decided to…

July 27, 2018 Sandra

Routine screening tests are crucial for early diagnosis. Discovery Health highlights the most important screening tests for men. Screening tests, such as those available through the Discovery Health Medical Scheme Screening and Prevention Benefit, find diseases early when they are easier to treat.  For example, with early detection, colon cancer can be nipped in the bud while diagnosing diabetes early may help prevent complications, such as vision loss and impotence. It is estimated that nearly half (48,7%) of South Africans with high blood pressure (hypertension) have never been screened. Therefore, remain undiagnosed. They are unaware of their increased risk for heart…

July 27, 2018 Sandra
This Women’s Month we give women behind the masks – female oncology pharmacists – the applause they deserve. Who is she? The environment appears cold, morbid and sterile. She is cloaked behind a glass screen whilst meticulously manipulating syringes and other instruments to achieve accuracy and sterility for her patient’s life altering medication.  She is driven by many things: an unwavering emotional desire to be part of the patient’s cancer journey and her need to contribute to society in a meaningful way. She is also cognizant of the profession she represents and her role in inspiring others to join and add…