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
Ivor Hobbs from the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) tells us how donated blood helps cancer patients. What are donated blood and blood products used for?  There are numerous uses for blood and blood products. The most common uses are:  Treatment of medical conditions, such as anaemia or cancer. Complications which arise during childbirth. Scheduled operations. Paediatric patients who have haematological issues and trauma.   Blood products are also used in the creation of immunoglobulins. These help  with preventing and treating conditions, such as rabies, shingles and tetanus. In addition, blood products are even used to make specialised eye…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
Dr Johann Kluge explains the causes, symptoms and treatment of mouth cancer. Mouth (oral cavity) cancer is a subdivision in the head and neck region. The mouth is confined by the anatomical borders that stretch from the lips (anteriorly) to include the tongue, floor of the mouth, cheeks, hard palate and gums (or gingiva). What is the incidence of mouth cancer? It’s the 11th most common malignancy. More than 90% of cancerous growths  in the mouth are squamous cell carcinomas, with the remainder being rarer tumours or tumours developing from the small salivary glands. Current oral cancer  statistics (US data): Overall…

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…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
Berna Harmse informs us about nutrition during childhood cancer. Cultivating healthy eating habits is part of the well-being of any child. Food helps build strength and strong immune systems and is also important for normal growth as well as brain development.  Children receiving cancer treatment need sufficient amounts of nutritious foods for all the same reasons, but with caution so as to prevent weight loss and long-term effects on normal development. The basics of good nutrition during childhood include: Eating regular balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Including fruit and vegetables daily (aim for at least…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation share the reality of childhood cancer, and celebrate Survivors, this International cancer Survivors’ Day. Statistics According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), around 150 per million children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer before the age of 15.  In South Africa, it’s estimated that we diagnosed between 70-80 per million children. Of those diagnosed most are in late stages – partly due to lack of knowledge – which leads to longer treatment, more disabilities and a lower survival rate. This can drastically improve with more knowledge shared about childhood cancer.   Increased survival rates “In the…