Welcome to the Dec/Jan issue; our theme is Press pause then press on with purpose and with that Avril de Beer highlights The seven types of rest that are needed while Fiona Hardie explains why correct breath is vital for your health in Breath awareness bringing a state of calm.

We also focus on skin cancers; Ronél Rabé shares the after effects of having basal cell carcinoma surgically removed from her left cheek in Face value. Dr Nirasha Chiranjan helps us understand the causes and warnings signs of Basal cell carcinoma while Dr Shivona Moodley gives us a rundown of all the types of skin cancer in Preventing skin cancer. 

Dr Daleen Geldenhuys educates us about the rare cancer Ocular melanoma and Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen shares her ocular melanoma journey in Few and far between.

May you have a good and restful festive season.

Laurelle Williams
[email protected]


#43 OB Dec22Jan23

Photos by LuciaB Photography | Facebook @luciabphoto

Venue: Silverstar Casino | silverstar.co.za


Prostate cancer – Am I covered?

Gillian Bruce, a senior case manager, answers imperative questions regarding prostate cancer and what medical aids will cover. A prostate cancer diagnosis is overwhelming and it’s hard to come to terms with not only for you, the patient, but for your family as well. Then there is the added stress of whether your medical aid will cover your [...]

Free PSA testing for the win

Astellas and The Prostate Cancer Foundation teamed up in September (Prostate Cancer Awareness Month) to provide free prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing.  A total of 12 private hospitals took part in this initiative and a total of 1 241 PSA tests were carried out. The PSA test is a blood test to assist in the detection of prostate abnormalities. A [...]

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 [...]

Preventing skin cancer

As South Africans we certainly have a shared love for the long, hot summer days that we relish. While we are happily throwing on flip-flops and shorts to head out to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us, let’s be mindful of the irreversible and harmful risks that sun exposure can result in, and reduce the [...]

Ronél Rabé – Face Value

Ronél Rabé shares the after effects of having two surgeries and radiation to remove basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) from her left cheek. Ronél Rabé (58) lives in Krugersdorp, Gauteng with her husband, Frik. They have twin daughters (26). Dry patch of skin In September 2018, Ronél noticed a dry patch of skin on her left cheek. “I thought [...]

The seven types of rest

You need more than sleep to restore yourself to the point where you feel well-rested. Prioritise yourself by focusing on getting the right type of rest you need to feel refreshed and re-energised. Rest and play are as vital to our health as nutrition and exercise. - Brené Brown We often complain about being exhausted with no energy [...]

Breath awareness: bringing about a state of calm

Fiona Hardie explains why correct breath is a fundamental pillar of health. Completely underutilised, underrated and ignored, our breath is the one thing that keeps us alive. An untapped resource. Without it we die. Simple as that.  It’s important to understand how we breathe or are supposed to. Simply put, we breathe through our noses. [...]

Basal cell carcinoma

Dr Nirasha Chiranjan, a radiation oncologist, unpacks the causes and warnings signs of basal cell carcinoma and the treatment and prevention thereof. With summer upon us, it’s important to remember that overexposure to the sun may have harmful side effects, including increasing your risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common [...]

Pancreatic cancer: frequently asked questions

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) shares the most frequently asked questions by newly diagnosed pancreatic cancer patients. What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer? Most people with pancreatic cancer (and nearly all people with ampullary cancer) will have jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes) as their first symptom. Jaundice is caused [...]

Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen – Few and far between

Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen shares her plight of trying to find other survivors of choroidal melanoma, a rare eye cancer that she was diagnosed with. Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen (59) lives in the Western Cape with her husband. They have two children (24 and 22). Delayed eye test Due to COVID Wilma didn’t go for her eye test screening for [...]

Ocular melanoma

Dr Daleen Geldenhuys unpacks what ocular melanoma is. Melanoma is a malignancy most commonly associated with moles on the skin, but it can occur in other areas, such as the eye (ocular). It can occur in the skin around the eye, the conjunctiva (white part surrounding the colourful part of the eye) and the uveal [...]

Everything had come back to life

Katherine Gordon tells us how after one year of having no oocyte activity due to chemotherapy, everything had come back to life and five years later she gave birth to her son.  Katherine Gordon (39) lives in Douglasdale, Gauteng with her husband, Alon, and their two-year-old son, Joshua.  Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) At age 32, Katherine was diagnosed with [...]

Making peace with my new lifestyle

Mother of two, Rene Abdullah, tells us how she handled the loss of her career as a personal trainer after being diagnosed with EGFR positive non-small cell lung cancer. Rene Abdullah (52) lives in Bryanston, Gauteng with her husband and two children. Diagnosis Rene was diagnosed with Stage 2 EGFR positive non-small cell lung cancer in February [...]

The importance of sound nutrition after a cancer diagnosis

Dietitian, Berna Harmse, educates us on nutritional status and the outcome of cancer, and offers tips for nausea. Being diagnosed with cancer is a devastating event, and most people living with cancer, experience the day they get the news as a life-changing moment. Even after working in the field of oncology nutrition for 18 years, [...]

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cover 60 BFL Dec22Jan23

It’s our 60th issue of Buddies For Life and we couldn’t be prouder! 

Our theme is Press pause then press on with purpose and we do hope this is exactly what you will do. Take the needed rest over December and when the new year begins, go and live purposefully.

Big C 2023

Word For Word Media are pleased to present The 2023 Big C Survivor’s Guide, with the focus being the top five cancers
in South African women and men
. We have also included the top five cancers affecting children. To all the survivors, our hope is that this booklet will assist in your journey, no matter how big or small, as long as you know you are not alone; we are here for you, we are oncology buddies.


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.