Blog Archives

Dealing with Phantom Limb Pain after Amputation

Some children who have been born without a limb or who have had a limb amputated feel pain in the non-existent body part. This is often called phantom pain. This pain is caused by damaged nerves from the amputated limb that continue to send signals to the brain. These signals are interpreted as pain.

While the pain the child experiences is not caused by an actual injury, the sensations are very real and can include burning or shooting pain, achiness or cramping, or pins-and-needles feelings.

The sensations of phantom pain are very real. Following an amputation, there are still nerves present in the remaining portion of the limb and these nerves send pain signals to the brain and tell the brain that the limb is still present.

Phantom limb pain is a well-recognised pain syndrome which can resolve on its own with time, but because pain can interfere with your child’s quality of life and decrease physical function, there are  various treatments available.

Read the rest of this entry


New Shoes & Winter Clothing Donations Urgently Needed

LFCT Barefoot for A Day logoIt is once again that time of the year when we ask you to go barefoot for a day so that our Children with Cancer do not have to!

Barefoot for a Day is an Annual Project that LFCT started in 2013, and every year we ask you to join us in collecting/donating shoes for our Little Fighters in hospital, at home and in Places of Safety.

This year we are combining our Barefoot for a Day  project with our Snug as a Bug Project into one big project this year. That way we can make our deliveries to the hospital wards, day clinics and to our Little Fighters and their siblings at home before the chill of winter sets in, thereby avoiding any between-season or change-of-season sniffles, which are very dangerous for Children with Cancer with their impaired immune systems.

WE URGENTLY Need YOU To Donate/Collect NEW Shoes & NEW Warm Winter Clothing for our Little Fighters.

Get your Friends involved, get your Family involved, get your Work involved, get your School involved – just think how many people you know…. if only a few of them donate one item of clothing or one pair of shoes, or the financial equivalent, we will have MORE than enough for ALL our Little Fighters.



Read the rest of this entry

Pet Dogs May Speed Human Brain Cancer Trials

Dogs and humans share a particularly deadly form of brain cancer: glioblastoma, the most common – and a very aggressive – type of malignant brain tumour among adults.

A new five-year canine cancer research project, awarded to the University of Minnesota, may improve survival rates in dogs and give researchers more insight into glioblastoma to apply to human trials.

The $2.7 million grant funded as part of the 21st Century Cures Act by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, is led by Dr. Liz Pluhar, professor of veterinary surgery at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Glioblastomas are a highly invasive tumour that carries a grim prognosis in humans, with a median survival of 14 months despite surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Pet dogs diagnosed with these tumours have few treatment options and are often euthanised shortly after diagnosis. Pluhar’s project hopes to improve those outcomes by combining complementary therapies.

Read the rest of this entry

Forecast of Cancer Research and Treatment Advances in 2018

2017 saw many “firsts” in the oncology community, in the form of several revolutionary advances in the research and treatment of cancer, including  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of an immunotherapeutic to treat patients based on biomarkers rather than the site of tumour origin; the approval of the first CAR T-cell immunotherapy; and the approval of a comprehensive next-gen companion diagnostic test to identify the right patients for the right molecularly targeted therapeutic.

In 2017, the FDA also approved the FoundationOne CDx test, which can detect genetic mutations in 324 genes and two genomic signatures in any solid tumour type, and the first “biosimilar” cancer drugs, which could potentially help drive down the costs of some cancer treatments.

While immunotherapies lead to long-lasting responses for some patients, a sizable portion of patients do not respond to these agents; some patients who respond ultimately develop resistance; and we still do not have precise biomarkers to predict who will respond and who will not. The same can be said about targeted therapies, where challenges with treatment resistance continue to be a major roadblock. Above all, patients from underrepresented and underserved communities quite often do not benefit from cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment advances.

Read the rest of this entry

What does The RACE for Children Act Mean?

Most paediatric cancer patients are subjected to treatments that are not designed for a child’s developing body.

This is because there has been too little research into Childhood Cancer and too few new medications to treat childhood cancer.

According to the Coalition against Childhood Cancer, a mere 4 % of America’s  National Cancer Institute’s budget is dedicated to paediatric cancer research – it is even less in some other countries.

Parents and advocates say that is not enough when you consider how much life these children stand to lose.

Treatment options for Children with Cancer have been stagnant for decades, with only 3 new drugs developed specifically to treat childhood cancers since 1980, compared to the 190 new treatments that have been approved for adults in the last 20 years alone.

The Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children Act that was signed into U.S. law during August this year aims to change that.

Read the rest of this entry

The Agony of Childhood Brain Cancer

Many years ago it was thought that cancer was an “old person’s disease,” and unfortunately some people still think that it is…

Cancer is not an old person’s disease; it is a disease that strikes at any age and affects everyone, irrespective of gender or race.

Virtually every single person on this planet has been affected by cancer in some way or the other, be it personally, a family member or a friend…

Childhood Cancer is possibly the most devastating for various reasons, including that there is too little awareness around paediatric cancer, and that too little is spent on research into childhood cancer.

Children are treated with the same poisonous drugs that adults are and experience the same if not worse side-effects from the treatment, and lastly, the mortality rates are too high!

Seeing one’s child try to battle a disease over which one has no control and for which there is no cure is the absolute worst thing that any parent can experience, yet tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of parents across the globe have to go through this ordeal every year; watching their child sufffer while they valiantly fight this dreaded disease and too often lose the battle.


Read the rest of this entry

CINV Affects Patients Economically & Emotionally

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a common — and often costly — problem among patients with cancer.

Chemotherapy is the use of specific drugs, administered by a paediatric oncologist, to destroy cancer cells by preventing the cancer cells from growing and dividing to make more new cells. Cancer cells generally grow and divide much faster than healthy cells; chemotherapy destroys them more quickly than it destroys most healthy cells.

Chemotherapy drugs are very powerful and they cause damage to many growing cells, including some healthy cells. This damage causes the side effects of chemotherapy, which can include Nausea and Vomiting; Diarrhoea; Constipation; Heartburn or Stomach Ache; Sore Mouth or Throat/Mouth Sores; Change in Taste – Foods Have Less Taste or a Bitter Metallic Taste; Hair Loss; Skin Redness; Dry, Itching Skin; Moist Skin; Rashes; Sun Sensitivity; Swelling, Redness, or Pain at The Needle Site Where Chemotherapy Drugs are Given; Bladder Irritation and Infection; Change in Urine Colour & Strong Urine Odour; Nerve Damage; Stress Fractures; Fever; Flu-Like Symptoms; Infection; Anaemia/Fatigue; Blood Clotting Problems (Bleeding); Swelling/Fluid Retention; and Allergic Reaction.

Read the rest of this entry

The Inimitable Dr Audrey Evans, Modern Hero

Dr. Audrey Evans is a world-renowned oncologist whose career has spanned more than 60 years.

As the co-founder of the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (1974), the first Ronald McDonald House in the world that led to the creation of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the co-founder of St. James School (2011), a faith-based middle school for under-resources youth, her efforts have impacted the lives of millions across the world.

Now at the advanced age of 92, her legacy was recently celebrated by the awe-inspiring new digital series, Modern Hero, which features groundbreaking women who are making a difference in their careers and in the world.

Dr Audrey Evans reduced mortality rates by 50% for neuroblastoma patients…she’s helped 7 million families in more than 63 countries across the globe….she’s giving under-resourced youth a chance at a better life…and at 92 she “still has the ability to do something for the benefit of humanity.”

Read the rest of this entry

Kwazulu-Natal Cancer Patients Dying While Waiting For Treatment

Cervical cancer patient Alice Sibiya has waited more than one year to receive treatment.

Four months ago the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) released a scathing report detailing the collapse of cancer services in the province. The document accused the KwaZulu-Natal health department and its MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, of failing patients.

Waiting times for life-saving cancer treatment has grown by almost 30% as KwaZulu-Natal’s cancer services crumble and stall.

According to information revealed by SAHRC chairperson Bongani Majola during a recent provincial health portfolio committee meeting, patients are now waiting up to nine months for treatment.

The average waiting time for treatment was previously seven months.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson for health in KwaZulu-Natal Imran Keeka says he doubts the veracity of the information and alleges the data does not reflect patient backlogs at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital fuelled by a breakdown of treatment machines at Addington Hospital.

Read the rest of this entry

Immunotherapy May Help Stop Cancer Recurrence

Cancer can never really be “cured” – one just goes into “remission” because the cancer can come back at any time, and when it does it is generally a far worse strain.

Cancer Survivors live their lives knowing that they have this “time-bomb” inside of them that may go off again at any time, and that there is absolutely nothing that they can do about it – one just lives with the constant fear of recurrence.

New research by Mayo Clinic’s Tim Kottke and his team, which was recently published in the journal Cancer Immunology Research, may hold some hope though.

The new research was a collaborative effort among scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, and the University of Surrey in Guildford — all of which are in the United Kingdom — and researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Read the rest of this entry

My Name is Chuma

a blog from a Cape Town inner city artist

Knitting Rays of Hope

Spreading Hope...a hat at a time.

The Starlit Path

An African Travelling Under Starry Skies

Soul Gatherings

Spiritual Moments in the Human Experience


Inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Surviving The Bubble

Jamie Hutchings, Public speaker, leukemia survivor and depression fighter

Sharing my learnings of being a mother

Art of Social Work

Kristina Sargent

How to Provide

for your family

%d bloggers like this: