Welcome to our JuneJuly issue, where the majority of the content is male-focussed. To honour Men’s Health Month (June), Robert Teunissen writes on Encouraging men to open up about prostate cancer while Dr Jireh Serfontein’s topic Reframing sexuality for men on ADT is a critical aspect for prostate cancer survivorship.

With our theme being The path to innovation, our cover story My second life depicts the success of a drug trial that Des Watkins underwent twenty years ago to treat a gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST). The supremacy of this drug invention is further confirmed with Dr Daleen Geldenhuys saying, “Before the advent of targeted therapy, GISTs had a dismal prognosis.” Read her article How are GISTs diagnosed?

Keeping with the latest technology, Dr Sylvia Rodrigues expands on Unveiling the invisible scalpel: Gamma Knife surgery while Graeme Le Roux tells us how cryoablation saved him from having major surgery to remove a rectal tumour that would have left him with a urostomy bag. 

We are so grateful for all the researchers and innovative minds that come up with new drugs and new treatment techniques that help ease cancer patients’ journeys. It’s thanks to them that many can celebrate International Cancer Survivors Day (2 June).

Happy reading men, this is for you!

Laurelle Williams
[email protected]

WFWM

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Cover by Tuhi Photography – tuhiphotography.com 

Location: Café Sparrow – Gillitts, Durban

Redefining survivorship

There is testament in how support transforms hopeful journeys into acts of resilience. Nestlé Health Science takes a closer look at redefining survivorship. Sarah’s Story: A Testament of Survival "You have cancer" is a statement forever etched in my memory. I was 27, a mother to two young children, and happily married. Who is ever [...]

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Reframing sexuality for men on ADT

The management of sexual dysfunction caused by androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer is a critical aspect of survivorship; Dr Jireh Serfontein expands on this. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Prostate cancer is a prevalent malignancy in men, and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) [...]

Encouraging men to open up about prostate cancer: A guide for families

Robert Teunissen explores strategies to help men be open about their prostate cancer and offers families simple approaches to support their loved ones through this challenging journey. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Prostate cancer is a significant health concern that affects many men worldwide. [...]

IN THIS ISSUE

Transitioning from cancer treatment

Gabriella Kourie offers simple ways to make transitioning from cancer treatment to your new normal that much gentler. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Many cancer survivors have reported that although they had good information and support during their illness, once treatment stops and they [...]

Graeme Le Roux – It was a no-brainer

Graeme Le Roux tells us how cryoablation saved him from having major surgery, to remove a cancerous tumour, that would have left him with a urostomy bag. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Graeme Le Roux (56) lives in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal with his wife, Nicci, [...]

Is cancer a matter of life and debt?

René Botha gives sound advice to help you understand what your medical aid or insurance will cover and how to avoid unwanted debt. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Receiving a cancer diagnosis is very overwhelming. You are given a vast amount of information in [...]

Unveiling the invisible scalpel: Gamma Knife surgery

Dr Sylvia Rodrigues explores the power of Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and why it’s becoming an increasingly preferred choice for patients with various brain conditions. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Gamma Knife SRS is a cutting-edge medical procedure that offers precise, non-invasive treatment [...]

How does the SANBS STS Department help cancer patients?

We all know that blood donations saves lives, but how does the Specialised Therapeutic Services Department at The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) help cancer patients? We learn more. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies SANBS is committed to providing blood products and services [...]

Innovation as a life process

Sandra Bollen-Hughes unpacks the term innovation and depicts how it can be used in your cancer journey. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies To get juices flowing when writing about a topic, it’s often useful to look up the definition of the main concept. With [...]

Radiotherapy: the powerful and versatile ally

Radiotherapy is one of the pillars of cancer treatment. We take an in-depth look at what this treatment modality can achieve. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery serve as the cornerstone of cancer treatment, offering hope and healing to millions around [...]

Dylan-Jay Vankeirsbilck: My first-ever operation

In honour of International Cancer Survivors Day, Dylan-Jay Vankeirsbilck shares his experience of his first-ever operation, a full neck dissection, that eventually led to an oesophageal cancer diagnosis. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Dylan-Jay Vankeirsbilck (34) lives in East London. In March 2022, while [...]

More than everyday nutrition

We learn the factual reasons behind why you need more than everyday nutrition when facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment. This is why day-to-day management of your emotional and physical well-being is of utmost importance.2 Focusing on nutritional support will help your body during treatment.3 When you have cancer, your body’s requirements for nutrients increase, [...]

GISTS awareness

How are GISTs diagnosed?

Dr Daleen Geldenhuys explains the diagnosis process of gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) and how targeted therapy has made it a treatable cancer. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Gastrointestinal stromal tumours likely originate from the interstitial cells of Cajal. These cells are the pacemaker cells [...]

Des Watkins: My second life

Des Watkins tells us about how a drug trial and surgery gave him his second life, how losing his first wife to metastatic breast cancer impacted him, and the joy of finding love again. You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies Desmond Watkins (67) lives in [...]

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RESOURCES

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Never have we been so excited about a cover like this one. Zweli Nkosi towers above everyone else and his presence can’t be missed; he is the picture of masculinity, yet he had breast cancer. This shows breast cancer doesn’t discriminate and can happen to anyone: male and female. Read his story The gentle giant.

cover 2024 BIG C Preparing for treatment

In the 2024 Big C Survivor’s Guide, we focus on preparing for treatment; as we are well aware of the anxiety and overwhelming emotions that come part and parcel with a cancer diagnosis and facing treatment.

Thank you to the great group of healthcare experts who have shared their knowledge from their respected medical fields and much gratitude to the advertisers who have come onboard to support our 2024 Big C Survivor’s Guide booklet.


Big C Online Directory

We still have The Big C Online Directory to help you find any A-Z listing of all things cancer related.