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Xolani Hlongwane – Embracing change

From being a successful group HR administrator to now working as a donor recruiter and education specialist at The Sunflower Fund, Xolani Hlongwane tells us how his life changed after surviving Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Xolani Hlongwane (36) lives in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal with his partner of two years. Growing up in the township of Lamontville, Xolani is the eldest [...]

What to do when liaising with your medical scheme

Elsabé Klinck gives advice on how to liaise with your medical scheme when various administrative and legal issues arise. Approval of treatment plans Doctors will talk to patients about the treatment options available to them. Once the patient has agreed to a specific plan of action, a treatment regime is developed, which will map out the course of [...]

Beat melanoma through early detection

May was Melanoma Awareness Month and CANSA highlights the stories of two survivors living with skin cancer to help educate and promote early detection of cancer. Melanoma, though less common than other skin cancers, is lethal. Exposure of the skin to excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation in childhood, increases the risk of melanoma later in life. [...]

Mohs surgery

Dr Tshepo Mokwena explains Mohs surgery for skin cancer. What is Mohs surgery? Also referred to as Mohs micrographic surgery, it’s a precise surgical technique used to treat different types of skin cancers.  During Mohs surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are adequately removed, and microscopically examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.  The principle of Mohs [...]

The experience of robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy

Paddy O’Brien shares his experience of undergoing robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). Paddy O’Brien (65) lives in Pinelands, Cape Town with his wife. They have two adult children. Diagnosis For 15 years, Paddy had a benign enlarged prostate, living with the condition of urgent, frequent urination. In April 2017, a routine PSA test raised concerns. He asked his [...]

Prostate cancer: A detailed review

We take an in-depth look at prostate cancer, the symptoms and how it is staged. Age and screening Screening, which includes a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE), can help detect prostate cancer in the early stages when it can be cured. Early detection reduces the risk of dying [...]

Ovarian tissue cryopreservation

Dr Chris Venter expands on ovarian tissue cryopreservation - a novel fertility preservation technique for selective clinical cases. Early cancer detection and advances in chemotherapeutic treatment regimens have led to a dramatic increase in cancer survivors.  A large proportion of these survivors are women of reproductive age. Research has shown that one of the major concerns in these [...]

Doctor, I don’t want chemotherapy

Dr Sarita Retief explains why chemotherapy is still the best oncology treatment that is available (for now). When I see a newly diagnosed patient for the first time, I often get these words, “I don’t want chemotherapy” within the first few sentences spoken. As if the patient couldn’t wait to get it off his/her chest. [...]

Bladder preservation with tri-modality therapy

We learn more about bladder preservation with tri-modality therapy in treatment of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the urinary system, with an estimated 550 000 new cases worldwide as reported in 20181.  Patients with bladder cancer typically present with gross or microscopic haematuria (blood in urine). Though, symptoms such as a change [...]

Colostomy surgery

We learn the ins and outs of the colostomy surgery procedure. What is a colostomy? A colostomy is an operation that creates an opening for the large bowel to exit through the abdominal wall. The end of the large bowel is stitched to the skin to form an opening, called a stoma. Why do I [...]