Welcome to the April/May issue; the issue where we feature male cancer survivor stories. This issue Lincoln Chipembere, a testicular cancer survivor, shares his story with us. Read how he, with the extraordinary support from his fiancé, has navigated his way through his recent diagnosis in Making every shot count.

With our theme Choose a healthier you, Wendy Vermaak’s article Defining fitness and physical activity levels is so interesting and gives insight on how to measure your levels. While oncology pharmacist, Lailaa Cajee, educates us on Drug safety in the home which in turn also contributes to a healthier you. 

We are so pleased to have Feni Motshwane, Integrated School Health Programme Manager, National Department of Health, update us on the HPV school-based vaccine campaign. Well done to all involved and may this campaign continue in success.

Another celebratory article for the public sector is Public Hospital Prostate Brachytherapy Programme. Due to a successful joint training workshop, 50 early prostate cancer patients will be treated with prostate brachytherapy at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital this year. Another win for early prostate cancer patients! Enjoy this issue and always choose a healthier you. 

Laurelle Williams
[email protected]


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Cover photo by LuciaB Photography | Facebook @luciabphoto

Venue: The Parks Lifestyle Estate, Riversands, Johannesburg


Lincoln Chipembere – Making every shot count

Despite Lincoln Chipembere having to delay his wedding due to a testicular cancer diagnosis, he took it in his stride with the extraordinary support of his fiancé. Lincoln Chipembere (29) lives in Midrand, Gauteng. Symptoms Last year May, Lincoln noticed swelling of one of his testicles, so he went to a GP. The doctor asked him if [...]

Listening to understand, not to reply

The last winner of our Exceptional Nurse Competition is Sister Tienie Ackermann from Dr Dino Chetty, Clinical and Radiation Oncologist. She was nominated by metastatic breast cancer patient, Romana James. The patient Romana James (30) lives in Pretoria with her husband and two children, aged 5 and 3. In life, you can meet someone new [...]

Head and neck cancer – Frequently asked questions

Cancer Heroes, a support group for head and neck cancer (HNC) patients and their families, inform us of the common questions that are asked by patients. What is HNC? HNC is a grouping of regional cancer incidents collectively known as head and neck cancer. They most commonly start with abnormal and uncontrolled growth of the squamous [...]

HPV school-based vaccine campaign

Integrated School Health Programme Manager, National Department of Health, Feni Motshwane, details the success of the HPV school-based vaccine campaign thus far. When did the HPV school-based vaccine campaign start? The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign was introduced in SA, in March 2014, in the public health sector.  This school-based vaccination campaign was launched by the [...]

Public hospital prostate brachytherapy programme

Thanks to a successful joint prostate brachytherapy training workshop with Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) Department of Radiation Oncology and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH) Urology Unit last year, this year 50 early prostate cancer patients will be treated with prostate brachytherapy at CHBAH. The first of the planned workshops was conducted in [...]

Drug safety in the home

Oncology pharmacist, Lailaa Cajee, helps us understand the importance of drug safety in the home. The development of numerous oral chemotherapy drugs (OCDs) has led to a new paradigm in cancer treatment. In 1995, there were only six oral chemotherapy drugs. This number grew to a whopping 90 in 2018. It’s estimated that more than 25% of [...]

Paediatric stem cell transplantation challenges in South Africa

Professor Gita Naidu explains the various challenges that are faced in paediatric stem cell transplantation. Stem cell therapy has become a very promising and advanced scientific research topic. Multi-potent haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the most popular stem cell therapy and is used to eliminate blood diseases that infiltrate the bone marrow, such as leukaemia, or to correct [...]

The language of cancer

Social worker, Avril de Beer, expands on how language (words and metaphors) can inspire or disempower cancer patients. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words [...]

Metastatic testicular cancer

Dr Daleen Geldenhuys describes how testicular cancer becomes metastatic and the treatment thereof. Testicular germ cell tumours, broadly classified into seminomas and non-seminomas, are among the most curable cancers, with five-year survival rates of approximately 95%. Men with advanced disease are classified into good-, intermediate-, and poor-risk groups. The grouping considers the site of the primary [...]

If it’s meant to be, it will be

Kevin and Donna Dudley’s nine years of marriage has been filled with an ectopic pregnancy, fertility difficulties, and a cancer diagnosis. Yet, they have three gorgeous children. Kevin (43) and Donna Dudley (38) live in Gauteng with their three children: Dylan (6), Leila (3) and Mathew (1). Ectopic pregnancy Donna had an unfortunate ectopic pregnancy in 2014. “It [...]

Defining fitness and physical activity levels

What does fitness mean to you? Biokineticist, Wendy Vermaak, explains the 12 principles of fitness to help you measure your fitness. There are many examples of what we would deem as fit and we often measure ourselves against that standard.  If you are fighting a cancer diagnosis, undergoing treatment or recovering from treatment, your view of fitness might [...]

Jamie Naidoo – Working in state is the perfect fit

Jamie Naidoo, a haematology nurse at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), tells us why working in the state sector is the perfect fit for her. Jamie (Deloshini) Naidoo (44) lives in Chatsworth, Kwa-Zulu Natal with her husband and two sons (10 and 16).  Jamie has been a professional nurse (oncology trained) for 16 years. She currently […]

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

nutritional support
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In the Apr/May issue of Buddies For Life we see this in our male Super Survivor, Emidio Ribeiro – My body might have cancer in it, but my soul doesn’t. These words demonstrate that he still has hope and resilience despite his diagnosis and that sure adds to his mental and spiritual health. Focusing on physical health and diet, occupational therapist, Gabriella Kourie, gives insight on Exercise post-surgery and radiation guidelines while dietitian, Annica Rust, shares Food safety tips during your cancer journey.

cover 2022 BigC

Word For Word Media are proud to present a new navigational concept, The 2022 Big Survivor’s Guide, to assist you, the patient, through the strenuous times and guide you through all the humps and bumps and prepare you with the many questions you need answered. Let’s walk and talk through diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Big C Online Directory

We still have The Big C Online Directory to help you find any A-Z listing of all things cancer related.