June 5, 2017 Sandra

As much as it is parental instinct to protect your child against traumatic news, such as a cancer diagnosis, it’s virtually impossible. Parents and the patient are entitled to know the full extent of the problem so they can be empowered and educated. The clinician’s job is to earn their trust, hold their hand through the journey, and make it as safe and pain-free as possible. That’s how Dr Monica Vaithilingum, a private paediatric oncologist and haematologist approaches her patients. She expounds on this topic.

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June 5, 2017 Sandra

  A registered nurse at the Cancer Treatment Centres of America (CTCA) hospital, Cheryl Lynn, said, “Nurses are at the centre of patient care, and for this reason, they can significantly influence the quality of care provided and, ultimately, patient outcomes.” To fully understand this statement, Lourein Smit, a local oncology nurse, tells us about what she faces every day.

“I don’t know how you do it?” This is the first response an oncology nurse will get when telling any person what they do. Little do people know that being an oncology nurse is the most rewarding and satisfying…

June 5, 2017 Sandra

Infection with certain viruses can sometimes cause cancer. Some of these infections can be prevented by vaccines and therefore the chance of getting certain types of cancer can be minimised. Dr Sze Wai Chan, a medical oncologist, talks us through some of the common viruses that are linked to cancer.

What are viruses? Viruses are tiny organisms containing genetic material – deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) – and are covered by a protein shell. When cancer causing viruses infect a living cell, the virus DNA or RNA enters…

June 5, 2017 Sandra

When you meet Dewald and Tina Botes, their love and care for each other is so evident and tangible. A couple’s love would need to be deep and rock solid to survive the shocking diagnosis of a frontal lobe brain tumour. We hear their astounding story.

Dewald Botes (55) lives in Lonehill, JHB with his wife, Tina. They have four children: Heinrich (Dewald’s son) and Charissa, Tianè and Juri (Tina’s children). After getting a second chance at love, and two and a half years of dating, Dewald and Tina made their commitment official by getting married. Nine months…

June 5, 2017 Sandra

What is pain? We know it is a short word associated with a negative feeling, which we use often: “I’m in pain”, “She/he’s such a pain”, “This is a pain”. But what does this word really mean? Professor Romy Parker enlightens us.

Pain is a complex experience common to all human beings and yet unique to each of us. The International Association for the Study of Pain (ISAP) defines pain: “as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience, associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or expressed in such terms. Pain…

April 12, 2017 Sandra

As boys, we are told to be brave. As men, it’s much harder to talk about life, health or feelings than the latest sporting news. Men feel they aren’t allowed to open up, even to themselves, for fear of being seen as weak or unattractive. The pressure of the ‘traditional idea of masculinity’ stops most men from taking care of their health and allowing their emotions to be lived. Testicular cancer forced me to alter this.

At the age of 30, the diagnosis of testicular cancer hit me between the…

March 29, 2017 Sandra
There are many different types of cancers, which previously had very dismal prognoses and bad outcomes, for which immunotherapy has changed the outlook of the future. It is fast becoming a new beacon of hope to many patients with advanced and aggressive cancers. So far, it has been approved for treatment of melanoma, lung, renal   cell carcinoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder cancer, head and neck cancers, and the list grows each day. Immunotherapy is also under investigation for treatment of triple-negative breast cancer, gastric cancer, Merkel cell cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, and pancreatic cancer amongst many other different cancer types….