My Diya and Stitch – Pragashnee Pillay

Pragashnee Pillay shares how getting a dog for her daughter, Diya, helped both her and her daughter cope with her cancer diagnoses and treatments. Pragashnee Pillay (35) lives in Tongaat, Kwa-Zulu Natal with her husband, Terence, and their five-year-old daughter, Diya, and their pet Jack Russell, Stitch. Thyroid cancer A month before Pragashnee was diagnosed [...]

Prostate cancer – a surprisingly positive experience

A surprisingly positive experience are not words that you would think would be associated with prostate cancer. Though, this is how Darren Robertson experienced his diagnosis. He tells us more. Darren Robertson (42) lives in Harfield Village, Cape Town with his wife, Loren and their daughter, Rebecca. Health check leads to diagnosis Darren never dreamt [...]

Risk stratifying of prostate cancer

Dr Sithembile Ngidi educates us on the risk stratifying system of prostate cancer. Once a patient has been diagnosed and the tumour biological behaviour (personality) has been identified, treatment modalities are chosen, based on what risk profile the cancer falls into.  Parameters, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, Gleason score and T-staging, determine the risk [...]

Using a donor to have a child

Tanya Rubin explores the options of cancer survivors using a donor or surrogate to start or add to their family. Most people grow up believing that having children is a simple, easy part of life. But then enters a cancer diagnosis and infertility. Both are traumas and both raise questions that go to the very core of [...]

The challenge of funding cancer treatment

Cancer is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. This includes the funding of cancer treatment. Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health, expands on this. The incidence of cancer is increasing rapidly, for reasons that are not fully understood but which appear to be linked to lifestyle.  Discovery Health’s data shows that cancer [...]

The birth of twins and Amara Grace

Mother of twin boys, Anja Berkowitz, shares how her battle with cervical cancer while pregnant ultimately birthed her new business, Amara Grace. Anja Berkowitz (35) lives in Fourways, Gauteng with her husband, Jordan, and their twin sons, David and Noah (3). Cervical cancer and choices In September 2015, about a year and a half into fertility treatment, [...]

Advocating advocacy: challenges cancer patients face in SA (Part 2)

In the previous article, we mentioned the importance of cancer advocacy to bring attention to areas of need in terms of cancer services in South Africa. Here are the eight challenges that were found in the research1. ONE: Emotional challenges  The total lack of psychosocial support services. The sparsity of psychosocial support services was reported […]

Immunotherapy and biomarkers

Dr Simon Naylar, a pathologist, helps us get a better understanding of biomarkers in relation to immunotherapy. Understanding the immune system The immune system is a finely-tuned balanced harmony of cells and molecules ready to react to the threat posed to the body by infections, foreign entities and tumours.  Once the immune system detects one of these potential threats [...]