Can you believe this is the last issue of 2021? Let’s be proud of ourselves for getting this far, this year hasn’t been easy but as usual we prove just how resilient we can be. 

We are excited to announce the first winners of the Exceptional Nurse competition: Sister Andrea Brummer and her patient, Stanley Rens. Read more about them in A give and take of kindness. Remember the competition runs for two more issues so there are still two more getaways to win! 

The theme for this issue is Family Ties, so we have a focus on genetics. Read Inherited genetic predisposition to prostate cancer and Genetic testing of embryos by genetic counsellors Sarah Walters and Kelly Loggenberg respectively. 

We also highlight cervical cancer with Boitumelo Makhathini sharing her story in Dealing with early stage cervical cancer. Dr Daleen Geldenhuys helps us understand Treating metastatic cervical cancer while Dr Summaya Ebrahim expands on What is a cone biopsy? 

We are also thrilled to report back on the Haematology in Action conference; it was so great to see part of the cancer community in person. 

May you have a wonderful December and here is to a great 2022! 

Laurelle Williams
[email protected]


Photos by LuciaB Photography | Facebook @luciabphoto

Venue: Goddess Cafe´- Visit


Medipost header


Boitumelo Makhathini – Dealing with early stage cervical cancer

Mother of three, Boitumelo Makhathini, shares how she learnt she had early stage cervical cancer this year and advocates for young girls to get vaccinated and women to go for regular check-ups. Boitumelo Makhathini (44) is divorced and lives in Randfontein, Gauteng with her three children (22,13,10).  In late February this year, Boitumelo started having abdominal pain [...]

Eileen Claassens – The joy of making a difference

Sr Eileen Claassens, the unit manager of Drs Brittain & Partners Incorporated, Netcare Pretoria East Hospital shares why she chose a career in nursing and why she decided to go into haematology nine years ago.  Eileen Claassens (55) lives in Centurion, Gauteng with her husband. They have two adult children.  It was when Eileen was [...]

New Eucerin Sun Actinic Control Fluid SPF 100

We find out more about how the new Eucerin Sun Actinic Control Fluid SPF 100 works by preventing actinic keratosis and non-melanoma skin cancer. Skin is much more than our body’s protective shield, it's alive and reflects and affects how we feel inside. When our skin in healthy and radiant we feel comfortable and at [...]

Genetic testing of embryos

Genetic counsellor, Kelly Loggenberg, explains the two different types of genetic testing of embryos. Genetic testing of embryos created through in vitro fertilisation (IVF), also known as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), is the testing of early stage embryos for genetic abnormalities prior to considering them for transfer into the womb.  PGT is comprised of two different tests, Preimplantation Genetic Testing [...]

Inherited genetic predisposition to prostate cancer

Genetic counsellor, Sarah Walters, educates us on the probabilities of inherited genetic predisposition to prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men; approximately 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed during their lifetime. Mostly, it’s diagnosed in men aged 65 and older. Risk factors include lifestyle, age, and ethnicity.  Sometimes there is an inherited [...]

A give and take of kindness

Stanley Rens, a melanoma patient, and Sister Andrea Brummer, Senior Nurse at The Mary Potter Oncology Centre, are the first winners of our Exceptional Nurse competition. They both won a two-night midweek getaway for two at Rosemary Hill, plus a gift pack courtesy of Sorbet. THE PATIENT Stanley Rens (64) lives in Dinokeng Game Reserve, Tshwane [...]

Treating metastatic cervical cancer

Dr Daleen Geldenhuys outlines the common areas that cervical cancer may spread to and how that spread is treated. Cervical cancer is a disease caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and is the most common cancer affecting South African women. There are more than 100 types of HPV, 14 causing cancer but types 16 and 18 [...]

Ensuring a sibling for our daughter

Jody Treger tells us how she and her husband, Ari, froze embryos before she started cancer treatment to ensure their baby daughter will have a sibling in the future. Jody Treger (35) lives in Gauteng with her husband, Ari, and their 8-month baby girl. Found breast lump in last trimester Jody was in her last trimester when she found a lump in [...]

Social work in a stem cell transplant unit

Avril de Beer tells us more about stem cell transplants and the role of the social worker in a stem cell transplant unit. What does a stem cell transplant involve? Stem cell transplantation is a complex procedure that involves the transfer of stem cells harvested either from the patient (autologous) or a matched donor (allogeneic). [...]

Haematology in action

The two-day 13th Annual Haematology Oncology Symposium was held at Lagoon Beach Hotel, Cape Town in October. It can be agreed that many attendees were particularly excited for a face-to-face conference after a long period of virtual meetings. As Dr Hannes Koornhof, Chairman of The South African Clinical Haematology Society (SACHaS), said, “This year’s conference is [...]

Coping with loss

Dr Nelia Drenth, a palliative care social worker, expounds why coping with loss is about getting through the pain and not over it. Loss almost always indicates suffering of some kind. The suffering presents itself in emotions, such as sadness, searching, yearning, anger, depression, and despair.  It affects how we behave towards ourselves and towards [...]

What is a cone biopsy?

Gynaecologist, Dr Sumayya Ebrahim, details what a cone biopsy is and why this special cervical biopsy is needed. A biopsy of the cervix is advised generally when a Pap smear detects abnormal cells. Because a Pap smear is only a screening test, a biopsy gives more accurate information regarding the extent of the abnormality.  A cervical biopsy [...]

We learn how nutritional support can help manage side effects during cancer treatment.

nutritional support

ATTENTION ALL CANCER PATIENTS! Last chance to vote for your exceptional nurse.

FB Nurse Competition Feb Mar2022

Word For Word Media are the publishers of Oncology Buddies, Buddies For Life and the 2021 BIG C SURVIVOR’S GUIDE – your annual comprehensive directory of all the information that you, the patient and/or family, seek out. It is the only of its kind in South Africa.

Your guide through diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

cover 2022 BigC

The lifestyle publication for breast cancer survivors.

cover 54 BFL DecJan22