May 26, 2022 Word for Word Media

We learn more about The South African Society of Stomates (SASS) and how they are building the community of ostomates (people who’ve had an ostomy, a surgical operation to create an opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes). Who is SASS?  The South African Society of Stomates (SASS) is a non-profit organisation formed by ostomates across Southern Africa to facilitate a holistic approach to ostomy patient care by bridging the gap between the private and public sectors whilst advocating for the rights of fellow ostomates throughout the country.  SASS aims to advocate and align the standard of…

March 24, 2022 Word for Word Media
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 mean so many different things.”  (Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass) Military metaphors like battle or war Many people use words or metaphors to express their own individual experience of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. According to Dr Michelle Riba, director of the PsychOncology Program at…

October 1, 2021 Word for Word Media
Dr Prinitha Pillay suggests necessary tools to help reframe the new reality that allows cancer patients to live life, not just survive it. Life with cancer is a journey with twists, turns and challenges. Everyone walking this path has a unique experience depending on their type of cancer, diagnosis stage, support network, and outlook on life.  When a disease like cancer threatens us, the will to live becomes a driving force within us. Some harness this force more strongly than others, while others find their path isn’t that easy. Some patients are just trying to get through the day while making the best…

May 27, 2021 Word for Word Media
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 care.1  There are millions of survivors worldwide. This number is expected to grow due to improvements in cancer screening, increases in life expectancy following definitive cancer treatment and the aging of the population.  For cancer survivors who are no longer on active treatment, healthcare needs…

February 5, 2021 Word for Word Media
Prof Gita Naidu shares evidence that obesity is a significant risk factor for cancer development, cancer progression, and a patient’s response to therapy. In 2016, more than 1,9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight, 39% were males and 40% females. Of these, over 650 million adults were obese, of which 11% were male and 15% female. The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.  During the same period, an estimated 41 million children under the age of five years were overweight or obese, and 340 million children and adolescents, aged 5 to 19, were…

February 5, 2021 Word for Word Media
Tamryn Vivian explains the benefits of oncology rehabilitation and why you don’t have to see your side effects as something you must live with.  Cancer survival rates have increased dramatically over the past 50 years because of improved prevention and detection as well as treatment. But surviving cancer is only the first step towards regaining the life that was once lived.  Many people emerge from treatment with unexpected side effects which can be difficult to face after being saved from the cancer itself. Some experience little pain and can get back to their usual life quickly, while others are completely…

November 30, 2020 Word for Word Media
It can be a daunting task to know which products are safer and healthier for you and your family. CANSA’s Seal of Recognition does the work for you, and when you see the mark on a product, you can be sure it’s free from chemicals of concern and meets the strictest standards for your health. Despite the complexities of cancer as a disease, the scientific evidence that a person can greatly lower their risk of developing cancer by lowering their exposure to avoidable risk factors is overwhelming.  By making better lifestyle choices, such as not using tobacco and alcohol,…

November 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…

February 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…

June 5, 2017 Word for Word Media

There are no compromises for patients 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…

September 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…