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The flu vaccine – frequently asked questions

We get all your frequently asked questions regarding the flu vaccine answered by Abbott Laboratories. Flu vaccine Seasonal changes are upon us, and so is flu season. Now, more than ever we should protect ourselves and our families against flu. What is flu? Flu is easily confused with a cold. Flu is a viral infection [...]

Andrew Hunter – I still have a voice

Andrew Hunter tells us about life after a laryngectomy: how he learnt to communicate with a tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis and recently via oesophageal speech. Andrew Hunter (59) lives in Soweto, Gauteng. He is divorced and has two adult children. Diagnosis In 2012, Andrew who had been smoking for over 20 years and drank occasionally on weekends, [...]

Medical schemes – the basics

Elsabé Klinck educates us on the basics of medical schemes when affected by cancer. Medical scheme cover The jargon of medical schemes can easily confuse patients, or the loved ones of cancer patients. Apart from choosing between various plans, there is a bewildering array of types of benefits (e.g. oncology benefits with or without co-payments); divisions into chronic, savings and/or risk […]

Patient navigation in oncofertility care

Kristin Smith, a patient navigator in oncofertility care, enlightens us on how she assists newly diagnosed cancer patients with their fertility preservation journey, at Northwestern University’s Lurie Cancer Center, in the USA. Note, this article pertains to practices in America. As a patient navigator, I work with adolescents and young adults whose lives are upended [...]

Advanced radiotherapy techniques

The landscape of radiotherapy is changing rapidly and the many innovative developments are making this an exciting field of medicine. Dr Mariza Tunmer, a specialist radiation oncologist, tells us more. As technology is improving across all aspects of medicine, radiotherapy (RT) too is advancing in numerous ways. Wilhelm Röntgen was the first to discover electromagnetic radiation in 1895.   Around the [...]

The role of the speech therapist in head and neck cancer

Azra Hoosen educates us on how a speech therapist supports and empowers head and neck cancer patients with speech, voice, communication and swallowing difficulties. Many patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer may present with speech, communication, voice or swallowing difficulties which hugely impact activities of daily living and quality of life.  A speech therapist is a health professional that is involved [...]

The laryngectomy surgical procedure

Dr Chris Joseph, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, outlines what a laryngectomy surgical procedure entails, when it is needed and the effects of it. A total laryngectomy is the complete removal of the larynx. When a portion of the larynx is removed, it’s called a partial laryngectomy. The function of the larynx The larynx [...]

Cardio-oncology: a new sub-speciality in South Africa

Cardiologist, Dr YT Singh, explains what cardio-oncology is and why it forms an integral part of a cancer journey. What is cardio-oncology? Cardio-oncology is a field in which a cardio-oncologist (a cardiologist who is familiar with the cardiovascular complications of cancer drugs and radiotherapy) works closely with an oncologist, in detecting and treating cardiovascular complications [...]

DareDevil Iain

Prostate and lung cancer survivor, Iain Johnston, talks about cancer treatment and running his fifth Hollard DareDevil Run with the aim of raising money for Prostate Cancer Foundation of South Africa. Iain Johnston (64) stays in Dainfern, Gauteng with his wife. They have two children and two grandchildren. Fluctuating PSA level Iain went for regular [...]