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…

June 1, 2018 Sandra
We hear how superhero, Lofentse Buthelezi, became the victor over childhood cancer. Lofentse Buthelezi (8) stays in Mondeor, Gauteng with his parents, Sithuli and Masetshego, and his baby sister. On the day of the interview, Lofentse plays outside. He told his father, Sithuli, beforehand that he wants to be outdoors with his friends so Sithuli must rather answer the questions. This is perfectly normal behaviour for an energetic eight-year-old, but most of all it shows that the little superhero is catching up on lost playing time. Diagnosed at age 5 Ironically, it was a fall off the jungle gym, at…

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…