December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Eight years ago, sisters Alrita Groenewald (47) and Tessa Supra (52) were both diagnosed with cervical cancer, just months apart. Alrita was given less than 30% chance of survival. Today, both sisters are healthy and well, and they encourage women to go for regular cervical cancer screening.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

In January 2015, Alrita, then six months pregnant, complained to her gynaecologist of excruciating back pain. Four days after her daughter Mila’s birth, on 17 April 2015, she collapsed in agony. After being rushed to…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Dr Elna Rudolph underscores the profound importance of vaginal dilators for sexual health in cervical cancer treatment.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Navigating through cervical cancer treatment is a tumultuous journey filled with challenges that extend beyond medical procedures and hospital visits. One such challenge, which often receives less attention, is maintaining and caring for your sexual health during treatment. Radiation therapy, commonly utilised in cervical cancer treatment, often leads to vaginal stenosis. This is the narrowing and loss of flexibility of the vagina due to scar…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Dr Sumayya Ebrahim explains how cervical cancer is diagnosed and what the staging means.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

What happens when a doctor is consulted? A careful history is taken. After this, an examination is performed. On examination, if the cancer is advanced, the doctor may feel a lump or growth on the cervix. Sometimes this growth can extend into the vagina and the tissues around the vagina, creating thickening and hardening of the tissues. With early cancers, sometimes these aren’t visible to the naked eye…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Winnie Ndlovu has been in remission for five years. She shares her cervical cancer journey.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Winnie Ndlovu (53) lives in Vosloorus, Gauteng. She is a widow and has four children aged 33, 30, 25 and 12. Stage 2 cervical cancer Winnie started going for Pap smears at the age of 45. When she went for a Pap smear in March 2018, at the age of 48, the results showed abnormal cells and she was reffered to a hospital where a biopsy was…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Dr Cattleya Gaspar highlights the basics of cervical cancer with importance on HPV vaccines and regular Pap smears.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally and the second most common cancer among women in South Africa.1,2 However, it’s one of the most preventable forms of cancer. As a South African female, it’s therefore pertinent to educate yourself about this disease. Empower yourself by getting to know your risk factors, which screening methods are available and how to prevent…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

With cervical cancer being one of the most common cancers diagnosed in women in SA, even though it’s the easiest female cancer to prevent with the HPV vaccine and regular Pap smears, the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) shares the most frequently asked questions.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

What causes cervical cancer? Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex. There are many types of HPV; some types…

July 31, 2023 Word for Word Media

 Caryl Pienaar shares her journey of cervical cancer, and recently uterine cancer for which she is still undergoing active treatment.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Caryl Pienaar (59) lives in Radiokop, Gauteng.  Cervical cancer In 2016 after a few years of being menopausal, I started spotting and visited my gynae. He performed a hysteroscopy (procedure that visualises the inside of uterus), the results showed nothing too concerning. A month later I experienced more spotting, so I went back. I figured that at 53, I definitely wasn’t going to start a family and asked him to…

February 7, 2022 Word for Word Media
Prof Lynnette Denny, Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, was awarded the Order of the Baobab last year November. We find out what this means to her and more about her research. Prof Lynette Denny (64) lives in Greenpoint, Cape Town.  Order of the Baobab When Prof Denny received an email from the Presidency, she almost deleted it. “I thought it was junk mail as I didn’t know anything about it. It came out of the blue.”  The email stated that she was to be awarded the Order of the Baobab (silver)…

February 7, 2022 Word for Word Media
Prof Lynette Denny advocates that HPV vaccination has the capacity to eliminate cancers associated with HPV and will save literally millions of lives thus it should be strongly supported. There are multiple types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that have been identified over the years (more than 200) but most types are associated with benign disease, which can be problematic. Regarding cancer though, HPV infection with high-risk types are strongly associated with cancer of the genital tract which include the vulva, vagina, cervix and anus. These types, particularly types 16 and 18, are known to cause at least 70% of cancers…

December 2, 2021 Word for Word Media
Mother of three, Boitumelo Makhathini, shares how she learnt she had early stage cervical cancer this year and advocates for young girls to get vaccinated and women to go for regular check-ups. Boitumelo Makhathini (44) is divorced and lives in Randfontein, Gauteng with her three children (22,13,10).  In late February this year, Boitumelo started having abdominal pain and was bleeding. “At first, I thought it was just my menstrual cycle, even though it was abnormal bleeding. Then I thought it was a bladder infection so I consulted my GP; he gave me antibiotics and pain killers, however, it continued. I saw him twice…

August 2, 2021 Word for Word Media
Dr Nirasha Chiranjan, a radiation oncologist, revises the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of carcinoma of the cervix. South Africa has a high incidence of carcinoma of the cervix and it is a leading cause of cancer mortality. of all gynaecological cancers,  cervical cancer is the focus of the most government public policy work and active intervention. This is largely because cervical cancer is the only gynaecological cancer that can be detected in a precancerous stage through population screening.  In nations that run organised screening programmes, cervical cancer screening has been one of the great public health successes of the…

November 30, 2020 Word for Word Media

Cervical cancer survivor, Rae van Nieuwenhuizen, shares how she dealt with radiation dermatitis. Rae van Nieuwenhuizen (55) lives in Hillcrest, Kwa-Zulu Natal with her husband. They have two adult children.  Stage 2B cervical cancer I was diagnosed in October 2016 with Stage 2B cervical cancer at age 51. The tumour I had was roughly 5x4x2cm in size and was starting to infiltrate the walls of the cervix. My oncologist and gynaecologist proposed radiation, chemotherapy and intracavitary brachytherapy.   Despite many possible side effects being explained to me, I have such zest for life and decided to go ahead and deal with things should they occur.  The…