April 1, 2024 Word for Word Media

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) remains a challenging and life-threatening disease. However, with new treatments and insights into the disease more children are being cured than ever before.

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

What is ALL? Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells that are produced in bone marrow (spongy central area of bone where all blood cells are made). In ALL, the bone marrow makes excess abnormal immature lymphocytes. These cells grow out of control and enter the blood. They’re unable to fight…

April 1, 2024 Word for Word Media

Bonni Suckling, founding member of Rainbows and Smiles Foundation, advises on managing fatigue, stress and concern so you can still be present as a parent while your child is undergoing treatment.

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

When I was presented with this topic, I thought how I could even begin to advise on a subject that I failed so dismally at. The only person I gave attention to, was my terminally sick child.My only son, Jed, was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma (a fancy name for a…

September 29, 2023 Word for Word Media

Paediatric oncologist, Diane Mackinnon, advocates paediatric palliative care, stating that good palliative care helps children live happily and make memories.

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

Any child diagnosed with a life-threatening or a life-limiting condition will benefit from palliative care. Palliate comes from the Latin root palliare, meaning to cloak: the aim of palliative care is to optimise quality of life, mitigate suffering and help children and their families live well in the face of serious illness. It’s the active total care of a child’s body, mind…

September 29, 2023 Word for Word Media

Dr Sarah Berkenfeld, a paediatric gastroenterologist, details when and how a liver transplantation is chosen for treatment of hepatoblastoma.

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

Understanding hepatoblastoma Hepatoblastoma is the most common primary liver cancer in children. In the past 30 years, overall five-year survival post-transplant has improved from 30 to 90%. Hepatoblastoma is staged according to how much of the liver has been invaded by the tumour both before and after chemotherapy and extent of spread of the disease. Cure is highly dependent on removing the…

July 31, 2023 Word for Word Media

 Fiona Hardie explains the benefits of breathwork when preparing your child for treatment or surgery.

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

Witnessing a child go through illness and surgery is traumatic and heart-breaking. As parents, you feel powerless, helpless and terrified but try hard to remain stoic and brave in front of them. Imagine their sense of overwhelming fear.  How often have you heard someone say “Just breathe” when you’re stressed? There is, however, help in the form of the breath, and it can assist not only your precious child but you too….

July 31, 2023 Word for Word Media

 Prof Gita Naidu educates us on hepatoblastoma, a rare childhood cancer of the liver. 

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

What is hepatoblastoma? Hepatoblastoma is a cancer of the liver in children under three years of age and affects 1-2 million children globally. Symptoms A painful lump in the middle or upper right side of the abdomen. Nausea and vomiting Loss of appetite Yellow-coloured skin or eyes Unexplained weight loss  What causes hepatoblastoma? Premature birth Low birth weight Early exposure to hepatitis B Biliary atresia Hemihyperplasia Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome Familial…

July 31, 2023 Word for Word Media

 Kegomoditswe Nstiane shares the journey of her daughter, Karabo, who was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma at four months, and how she is now an energetic three-year-old who is thriving.

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

Karabo Nstiane (3) lives in Krugersdorp, Gauteng with her parents, Kegomoditswe Nstiane and Herbert Matlhole, and her older brother, Koketso. Swollen tummy When Karabo was four months old, her mother, Kegomoditswe, noticed her tummy was swollen. “I thought it was from the formula I was giving her as I was mix-feeding her with breast milk and formula. I took her to the…

July 29, 2022 Word for Word Media
Rainbows and Smiles, an NGO that is dedicated to supporting children with cancer, shares the frequently asked questions when a child is diagnosed with leukaemia. What is childhood leukaemia? Leukaemia or blood cancer occurs when there is an overgrowth of abnormal white cells. These leukaemia cells grow to the point that they eventually consume and destroy the normal bone marrow. Eventually these cells spill out into the blood where they are detected. Leukaemia is the most common form of childhood cancer, accounting for almost one out of three cancers. The most common type of leukaemia is acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.  Why do children get leukaemia? The exact cause of…

July 29, 2022 Word for Word Media
Prof Gita Naidu describes the most common cancers found in adolescents. The incidence of cancer is rising among adolescents; the cause of the increase is unknown. Annually approximately 5000-6000 adolescents are diagnosed with cancer each year in the US, with 500-600 adolescent deaths. Cancer SEER data revealed an increase of 0.67% for males and 0.62% for females during the period 1975 through 2012, resulting in more than a 25% increase over 38 years. Cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in adolescents. This data is lacking in SA. According to the SEER Cancer Statistics Review, during 2008 and…

March 28, 2022 Word for Word Media
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 congenital immunodeficiency disorders and metabolic defects. Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation is also used to enable cancer patients to receive higher doses of chemotherapy than the bone marrow is normally able to tolerate.  Two types of stem cell transplantation Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) uses human leucocyte…

August 2, 2021 Word for Word Media
Zino Nyangule is the sweetest and most inspirational 14-year-old cancer survivor. Despite being blind, her take on life is extraordinary. Zino Nyangule (14) lives with her parents, Zuzeka and Advisor, in Far East Bank, Gauteng. She has four older siblings, two brothers and two sisters.  Germline mutation When Zino was around eight months old, her mother, Zuzeka, noticed that when she shook a toy on the left side of Zino, Zino would follow it with her eyes but when she shook it on the right side, Zino didn’t. “There was also something on her right eye; at night, it would shine…

May 27, 2021 Word for Word Media
Prof Gita Naidu informs us of what is known about COVID-19 and childhood cancer treatment. Understanding coronavirus SARS-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified, in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause common colds, as well as more serious respiratory diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). How is the virus spread? The coronavirus is spread by those who are infected when they cough, sneeze, talk, raise their voices (shouting or singing), or even by breathing. Droplets which have the virus fall on people in…