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 Chris Venter educates us on the fertility preservation options for female cancer patients. When someone is confronted with the devastating diagnosis of cancer, the immediate goal is to survive the cancer. In the past decades, there has been a sharp increase of survivors of cancer. This is due to advancements in cancer therapy and earlier detection of cancer.  Many cancer survivors are in their reproductive years, and survivorship issues, such as family planning, become a real need. Evidence has shown that the desire to one day have a family is a strong motivational factor for patients fighting cancer. Unfortunately,…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
A dedicated oncofertility session was held at the SASREG – ISGE and ESGE Congress 2019. The International Society for Gynaecologic Endoscopy (ISGE) and the European Society of Gynaecological Endoscopists (ESGE) 2019 Congress was hosted by the South African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG) in Cape Town from 14 – 17 April. The theme was Endoscopy in Africa and Beyond and presented a great opportunity for African and international endoscopists to share ideas, teach skills and improve knowledge in this field.  One of the highlights of the congress was the oncofertility session. This is where the oncology and…

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…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
Free oral, head and neck cancer screenings were offered on 10 April at Menlyn Maine Central Square, in Pretoria, by Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW) South Africa. The US Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA), along with more than 400 national and international screening sites, offered individuals to get screened for oral, head and neck cancers during the 20th annual OHANCAW, which runs from 8 to 15 April.  The community was invited to participate in free head and neck screening. Individuals received a thorough exam and learned more about the symptoms of head and neck cancers, which include:…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
Dr Sumayya Ebrahim addresses the important questions around breastfeeding and ovarian cancer. The benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby are widely proven and accepted. The anti-cancer benefits of breastfeeding, in relation to breast cancer, are also firmly established.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life for the health of both mother and child, and continuation of breastfeeding for two years and beyond, alongside other food and drinks. Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. It’s responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
Salomé Meyer informs us of the recent picket held outside the WHO Fair Pricing Forum at Emperors Palace, Gauteng. Civil society meeting “Cancer is the new HIV!” is how Mark Heywood, former executive director of Section27, described the cancer crisis in SA at the Civil Society Stakeholder meeting arranged between Cancer Alliance and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), in April.  The reality is with the successful treatment of people living with HIV, many are now living longer than expected and are facing co-morbidities, such as cancer.  At this meeting, it was agreed that Cancer Alliance, TAC, Section27 and organised labour…

May 30, 2019 Sandra
All cancer survivors and people touched by cancer are encouraged to step up and add their voice to the efforts made by Cancer Alliance to address the cancer care crisis in SA. Why should cancer patients be involved in advocacy? As cancer advocates, we are the watchdogs regarding improved service delivery to cancer patients; getting more affordable pricing of cancer medication for all South Africans; and ensuring that cancer policies and strategic plans are implemented.  The current breakdown of healthcare services in the state sector is of great concern and we need to be the voice asking and pushing for change and…

Mar 20, 2019 Sandra
Hollard DareDevil Run ambassador, Judd Van Den Bergh, shares his testi-monial of being diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 23. Judd Van Den Bergh (27) lives in Benoni, Gauteng. Young and indestructible Judd never worried about his health and fitness. As a result, he was overweight and never thought too much about it. In his mind, he was young and indestructible. But in April 2015, his indestructibility crumbled.  He felt a lump in his testicle while doing a self-examination in the shower. This was thanks to a good GP emphasising the importance of testicle self-examinations to Judd.  “When I first found the lump, I was…