Welcome to the June/July issue. 

We have the exquisite Gaby Von Blerk on the cover; read about her journey of overcoming squamous cell carcinoma of the anus in Stopping the shame. 

We thank her for speaking so openly and bringing awareness to this cancer.

Running with our theme Money Matters, financial advisor, Janette Rooney, writes about GAP cover – what is it and why is it so important? while Saskia Williams, from IFAASA, informs us on The fight for fertility treatment and the success achieved so far with Discovery. Saskia and her team need to be commended for their ongoing persistance. Well done! What they are achieving is so appreciated.

COVID is still a huge topic so Dr Ria David educates us on Cancer patients and the COVID vaccine and Prof Gita Naidu writes about COVID-19 and childhood cancer.

Hope you enjoy this issue. 

Keep warm and stay safe.

Laurelle Williams
[email protected]


Header image by Darryn Sykes Photography | darrynsykes.com

Location: Fairways Hotel, Durban North, KwaZulu Natal

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Current treatment options for advanced lung cancer in SA

Dr Sze Wai Chan clears up the complexity of understanding lung cancer and its treatment.  Lung cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. It’s the second commonest cancer in both sexes. It falls right behind prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.   When patients are diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, the prognosis is usually [...]

NSCLC ALK+ Lung Cancer Patient Journey

Oncology Buddies is proud to present the first Advanced NSCLC ALK+ lung cancer patient journey for your ease of reference and understanding of the route your journey may look like. Please note: this patient journey is only for ALK+ lung cancer and not applicable for all lung cancer patients.

Gaby Von Blerk – Stopping the shame

Gaby Von Blerk openly speaks about her difficult journey of facing squamous cell carcinoma of the anus. Gaby Von Blerk (60) lives in Umhlanga Rocks, Kwa-Zulu Natal. She is divorced and has a daughter, Greta. Squamous cell carcinoma of the anus   It was thanks to the words of Gaby’s friend, Eric, who endured a long battle [...]

GAP cover – what is it and why is it so important?

Janette Rooney helps us understand when and why GAP cover is needed. GAP cover is equally as important as having a medical aid and the two products although purchased separately, go hand in hand. So, what is GAP cover? It is a cost-effective hospital shortfall insurance product that you can purchase together with your medical aid or thereafter. Medical [...]

Cancer patients and the COVID vaccine

Dr Ria David educates us on the current recommendation for cancer patients getting the COVID vaccine. Infection in the immunocompromised population, which includes cancer patients and those on chemotherapy, can lead to excessive morbidity and mortality. It’s therefore imperative, where possible, to protect these individuals against infection.  Immunisation against certain infections is an important and [...]

Cancer survivorship beyond treatment: a medical viewpoint

Dr Nirasha Chiranjan enlightens us on the impact that cancer and cancer treatment has on cancer survivorship. A cancer survivor refers to any person who has been diagnosed with cancer. Survivorship begins at the time of diagnosis and includes the periods of initial treatment with intent to cure, cancer-free survival, chronic or intermittent disease, and end-of-life [...]

COVID-19 and childhood cancer

Prof Gita Naidu informs us of what is known about COVID-19 and childhood cancer treatment. Understanding coronavirus SARS-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified, in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause common colds, as well as more serious respiratory diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome [...]

The fight for fertility treatment

Saskia Williams shares the ongoing battle to get medical aids to pay for fertility treatment and the success with Discovery. About IFAASA The Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa (IFAASA) was started by 10 ladies in November 2013. IFAASA is a non-profit company run by volunteers, relying on sponsorship to fund projects. The aim is to educate the [...]

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

nutritional support

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.

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