March 5, 2024 Word for Word Media

Amanda Koch details her emotional journey of paraplegia due to multiple myeloma to the miracle of walking again and successful treatment.

Amanda Koch (63) lives on a farm in Moorreesburg, Western Cape with her husband, Danie. They have two adult children, a son and daughter, and a grandson. Holiday in Namibia In July 2021, Danie and I set off for Namibia for holiday. Before we left, we had COVID vaccinations, and since I had been experiencing pain behind my shoulder blade, I had X-rays and a full blood count taken for good measure. No errors were detected. The…

February 7, 2024 Word for Word Media

Dr Garrick Laudin explains the effects of multiple myeloma on bone health and the treatments needed to preserve the bones.

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

What is multiple myeloma? Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. The plasma cell is the fundamental soldier cell in the immune system, which under normal circumstances produces immunoglobulins (protein molecules) that fight a variety of infections. In myeloma, this soldier cell is no longer under orderly control of the immune system and it undergoes disordered proliferation (growth). What are…

February 8, 2023 Word for Word Media

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

Dr Lucille Sarah Singh details how CAR T-cell therapy works and how it will fit in the SA healthcare system. CAR T-cell therapy is the new kid on the block in the armamentarium of immunotherapy and cell and gene-based therapy. If nothing else, the COVID pandemic has put our immune systems under the spotlight; we have a heightened awareness of the exquisite repertoire of biological responses happening in our bodies on a daily basis to clear foreign invaders. These foreign invaders can be viruses and bacteria, but did you…

February 8, 2023 Word for Word Media

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

The Cancer Alliance and multiple myeloma patients are celebrating the win of lenalidomide finally included on the Essential Medicines List for the public sector. The Cancer Alliance launched its Access to Medicine campaign on World Cancer Day, 4 February 2018, after the landmark report Exploring Patent Barriers to Cancer Treatment Access in South Africa: 24 Medicine Case Studies was published in 2017.  From the 24 medicines, a list of eight medicines were selected as a dedicated focus for equitable access. Lenalidomide was one of the…

February 7, 2022 Word for Word Media
Dr Lucille Sarah Singh sheds lights on how multiple myeloma affects the body and why indefinite follow-ups are needed. Mention breast or lung cancer and people generally know what it means: a cancer starting in the breast or in the lungs. However, mention multiple myeloma (MM) and most people have no frame of reference. Is there an organ or tissue called myeloma?  MM is a cancer arising in plasma cells which reside in our bone marrow. These plasma cells are an important part of our immune system as they produce antibodies. Abnormal plasma cells can still produce antibodies, albeit non-functional antibodies, which are secreted into the…

February 4, 2022 Word for Word Media
Having solid family support when diagnosed with cancer goes a long way. We hear how Albert Kokota’s family supported him when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  Albert Kokota (57) lives in Rustenburg, North West Province with his wife, Naomi. They have three children and two grandchildren.  At the beginning of last year, Albert experienced swelling in his right ankle and pain between his ribs. He went to his GP who noticed that he was pale and decided to do a blood test.  In the meantime, the GP prescribed an anti-inflammatory. With the results of the blood test showing low haemoglobin levels; the GP referred him…

August 2, 2021 Word for Word Media
Olympian and former World Surfski Champion, Oscar Chalupsky, shares his upstream battle with multiple myeloma. Oscar Chalupsky (58) and his wife, Clare, alternate living in South Africa and Portugal. They have two adult children, Luke and Hannah. Success in the sports world started early for Oscar. He started competing internationally at age 14; made the National Surf Lifesaving Team at age 15; was the first person in the world to win both Junior and Senior Ironman, aged 15; played for KwaZulu-Natal Schools’ Rugby and SA Schools’ Water polo. He became the youngest canoe Springbok, at age 18, and was…

February 5, 2021 Word for Word Media
With March being Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, Dr Philippa Ashmore gives us a rundown on this bone marrow cancer and the increasing treatment options. Multiple myeloma (MM) is a common cancer of bone marrow. It’s most often seen in older adults, with a higher rate in black patients compared to Caucasians. It’s generally a chronic disease with little chance of cure, but with increasing treatment options, the quality and quantity of life for most patients has improved dramatically over the last two decades.  How does MM develop? The myeloma cell, or plasma cell, is an immune system cell that becomes cancerous. When this happens, it…

March 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
Though Fareed Bruintjies’ (47) story encompasses just about everything that can go wrong in a cancer survivor’s journey, he’s emerged more determined than ever to do battle with his persistent illness.  With Fareed’s diagnosis, of multiple myeloma, carrying a median survival rate of four years, he accidentally bumped into a patient who’d survived the same cancer for 12 years in the chemotherapy room. That woman, 11 years his senior, had undergone multiple treatments for 10 years. He realised that there was strength in the support of fellow survivors. Her very existence confirmed the hope he’d picked up on, in…

March 26, 2018 Word for Word Media
Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month is March; with that Dr Ronwyn van Eeden underlines what type of cancer it is, how it is caused and treated. What is multiple myeloma? Bone marrow is a spongy type material found inside our larger bones, such as the sternum, ribs, skull, hips and the long bones of arms and legs. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cells that are made in our bone marrow. Plasma cells form part of our immune system that is responsible for protecting us against infection and disease. They do this by producing different types of antibodies/immunoglobulins….