Nov 27, 2019 Word for Word Media

Far too often we forget the miraculous and incredible natural environment in which we live. Slow down and embrace the simple pleasures of nature and feel revived. Be in a nature mind-set Recognise that nature is not just a word, and the environment is not simply something we desperately need to take care of. But that it’s the air we breathe, and the space we thrive in. Go outside, lie on the ground and feel the dirt. Let your bare feet touch the grass. Stargaze As the sun is setting, take your kids outside, lift your eyes upward and stare into the…

Feb 7, 2018 Word for Word Media

An Bakkes’ story is set to change the lives of mothers facing the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. Diagnosed during first pregnancy At the age of 34, An was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma metastatic cancer. She was pregnant with her first child. The shock of the diagnosis was one that her doctor couldn’t bear to give her when he first found out. “My doctor postponed my appointment until the end of the weekend as he didn’t know how to tell a pregnant woman she has Stage 4 cancer,” An recalls. She went through the remaining months of her pregnancy…

Jun 5, 2017 Word for Word Media

  A registered nurse at the Cancer Treatment Centres of America (CTCA) hospital, Cheryl Lynn, said, “Nurses are at the centre of patient care, and for this reason, they can significantly influence the quality of care provided and, ultimately, patient outcomes.” To fully understand this statement, Lourein Smit, a local oncology nurse, tells us about what she faces every day.

“I don’t know how you do it?” This is the first response an oncology nurse will get when telling any person what they do. Little do people know that being an oncology nurse is the most rewarding and satisfying…

Sep 21, 2016 Word for Word Media

Dr Cathy Agnew explains the importance of a good doctor-patient relationship.

I’m sitting in my office, in consultation, with a patient. She is seeing me for a check-up and we have been through a   full history and examination, and have discussed the road ahead – which special investigations she needs and what therapy will benefit her. Her script for her hypertension medications needs to be renewed and we have discussed the supplements she is taking. Imperceptibly she shifts in her chair, but I am busy with the prescription so don’t take too much notice. She smiles, takes the…

May 1, 2016 Word for Word Media
Stress and the Immune System’s reaction to a Cancer Diagnosis Receiving a diagnosis of cancer may feel like receiving a death sentence. Nowadays the word cancer is synonymous with death. I was speaking to a Hospice doctor the other day and he said that back in the day, people used to die from old age but now they die from cancer. This is largely due to the fact that we are now able to detect what people die from. This explains why the word “cancer” is synonymous with “death”. Survival is the top priority for all living organisms. Our bodies are fine-tuned to take…

May 1, 2016 Word for Word Media

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), 30 – 40% of cancers can be reduced through lifestyle factors. These include diet and exercise, as well as the avoidance of cancer causing agents (called carcinogens) – and they can all help to reduce the cancer risk. As part of its Balanced Lifestyle campaign, CANSA offers pointers on how to reduce the cancer risk, by making informed lifestyle choices. “Some obvious choices in helping you reach healthy behaviour include the following; avoid tobacco use, exercise regularly, eat regularly choosing less processed foods, choose a combination of more raw or steam,…

Jan 1, 2016 Word for Word Media
Palliative care (from the Latin palliare, “to cloak”), as used in cancer management, is any treatment that aims to reduce the severity of disease symptoms, instead of trying to delay the progression of the disease or offering a cure. Many definitions of palliative care exist. The WHO defines it as: “… an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” The very essence…

Dec 11, 2015 Laurelle Williams

Recently I read in a newspaper that Clint Eastwood is allergic to horses. That hawk-eyed killer with narrowed eyes and terminal coolness, with a rock-steady gun-hand, must have itched and sneezed uncontrollably.  But he never let on. So it is with men. It isn’t cool to show weakness. When faced with issues in their lives, men enter a problem-solving mode. If it’s broken, it can be fixed! After all, men have conquered fire, harnessed the wheel, set foot on the moon. A whiff of cancer can surely be beaten if enough energy and thought is applied to the problem. Men are…

Dec 11, 2015 Laurelle Williams

More and more often it seems that we hear of yet another family member, friend, or colleague battling cancer. This devastating disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million recorded cancer-related deaths in 2012. [1] This August, the Self-Medication Manufacturer’s Association of South Africa (SMASA) encouraged all women to educate themselves about those cancers that affect women, as early detection may help save their lives. Which factors increase your risk of developing cancer? There may not be a definitive answer to this question, but the World Health Organisation (WHO)…

Dec 11, 2015 Laurelle Williams

People Living with Cancer (PLWC) is an umbrella organisation, which brings together various projects and people who are interested in making a difference in the lives of people living with cancer in South Africa. Cancer.vive is a special project of PLWC. The Cancer.vive survivors create awareness and honour those who have lost the battle. Activities of Cancer.vive include raising funds, which are utilised to drive cancer awareness, educational initiatives and campaigns with the emphasis on previously under-privileged communities. The 5th annual Cancer.vive Awareness Ride takes to the road from 10-19 September, with the main aim of getting communities across the…

Dec 1, 2015 Word for Word Media

Juliet Drozdz had just turned 40 when she received the devastating news from her doctor that she had a brain tumour. “My life came to a complete halt. In every way,” Juliet recalls.  The days leading up to her diagnosis are still fresh in her mind. “I was on holiday in New York and my eyes were very watery. I remember the bright lights of Times Square really bugged me, so much so that I had to return to my hotel and lie in a dark room to recover.”  Upon her return to South Africa, Juliet went to visit an…