Jan 27, 2017 Sandra

0nly 10-15% of cancers can be attributed to an inherited genetic abnormality. Epigenetics is where we should be focusing our attention to prevent the rest of the cancers we diagnose.

So what is Epigenetics?  “The study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. Epigenetics has transformed the way we think about genomes.” We have no control over the genes we are born with (yet!), but we can make choices that can modify “bad genes or SNP’s” (Single Nucleotide Polypeptides). In a patient…

Jan 2, 2017 Sandra

Currently, doctors only use three primary senses to diagnose a patient: hearing, sight, and touch. But, why use three senses when we could be using four? This is where our furry friends come in, adding the fourth sense – olfaction – to help diagnose cancer. In no way is it suggested to replace medical equipment or diagnosis; dogs are simply adding to the equation.

Searching for cancer through volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a relatively new idea in science, with huge possibilities. Published studies from all over the world are proving accuracy levels that are beyond current available machines’…

Dec 1, 2016 Sandra

Within the healthcare environment there are so many technologies emerging, it is often hard to tell which options are safe or effective. At Mediclinic Durbanville, the da Vinci robotic surgery is proving its worth in terms of improved patient outcomes. When talking to Dr Gawie Bruwer, a urologist at Mediclinic Durbanville who has been using the da Vinci since 2014, we can easily detect the excitement with which he speaks about the results being achieved. From the quicker recovery after the less invasive procedure to the more accurate diagnosis of the cancer progression, the patients being treated with this robot…

Dec 1, 2016 Sandra

One can only imagine what a child cancer patient goes through when being ‘prodded and pricked’ to find a vein in order to receive repeated infusions. Luckily, the children being treated at The Gold Fields Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Out-Patient Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, in Soweto, don’t have to endure such a traumatic and painful procedure anymore, thanks to Abela Africa Medical and ICU Medical as they recently donated a VeinViewer Flex machine to the unit. What is the VeinViewer Flex? VeinViewer Flex is a highly portable vascular access imaging device that can help find the optimal venipuncture…

Dec 1, 2016 Sandra
One would think the less one smokes, the lower the risk would be of getting lung cancer, however, in Mahendra Modi’s case he developed lung cancer associated with an EGFR mutation, at the age of 74, despite never smoking. But not once has he feared death. He shares his remarkable story with us. Mahendra Modi (76) lives in Mulbarton, south of JHB, with his wife. He has three children and seven grandchildren. In 2014, a week after Mahendra arrived in Australia to visit his son, Dharmesh, he experienced abdominal pain and had trouble breathing. He didn’t take it too…

Dec 1, 2016 Sandra
With World AIDS Day observed on 1st December, Dr Sarah Rayne talks about the connection between HIV/AIDS and cancers. HIV/AIDS affects one fifth of women of reproductive age in South Africa (SA). It is caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks and eventually destroys the immune system of the body. Because the immune system is not working, people are more at risk of infections and some types of cancer. They may also suffer from other health problems related to these. HIV spreads through bodily fluids, and the most common way it is passed in SA…

Dec 1, 2016 Sandra

With World AIDS Day observed on 1st December, Dr Sarah Rayne talks about the connection between HIV/AIDS and cancers.

HIV/AIDS affects one fifth of women of reproductive age in South Africa (SA). It is caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks and eventually destroys the immune system of the body. Because the immune system is not working, people are more at risk of infections and some types of cancer. They may also suffer from other health problems related to these. HIV spreads through bodily fluids, and the most common way it is passed in SA…

Sep 21, 2016 Sandra
Many cancer patients and their families receive the advice, from their healthcare team, that there is no response to treatment, and that cure or long-term remission is no longer possible. Once this ‘advanced stage’ has been reached, the treatment plan changes from curative to palliative, and the first priority of families is to ensure their loved ones receive the best medical and supportive care, for improved quality of life, for the remaining time they have. The Advanced Illness Benefit, which is offered by Discovery Health Medical Scheme, does…

Sep 21, 2016 Sandra

Dr Cathy Agnew explains the importance of a good doctor-patient relationship.

I’m sitting in my office, in consultation, with a patient. She is seeing me for a check-up and we have been through a   full history and examination, and have discussed the road ahead – which special investigations she needs and what therapy will benefit her. Her script for her hypertension medications needs to be renewed and we have discussed the supplements she is taking. Imperceptibly she shifts in her chair, but I am busy with the prescription so don’t take too much notice. She smiles, takes the…