Blog Archives

So Anyways, Childhood Cancer


Just exactly how do we get the average person like you and the politicians and the corporations and the pharmaceutical companies who control the research funding to take creative ownership of the childhood cancer epidemic in this country? Because make no mistake about it… it is an epidemic!

Tom Mitchell is the founder and director of Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Affectionately known as “Tattoo Tom” by the children and families whom he serves. He is also a nationally recognized activist and advocate for children with cancer and their families.

Following the death of his daughter Shayla in 2009 from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Tom dedicated his entire life to providing non-medical support to children with cancer and their families. He’s also committed to raising awareness of the need for more research funding and safer, less toxic treatments for children with cancer.

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Why I Don’t Believe in #MandelaDay


Right! So now that this controversial headline has got your attention… please read on as to why….

Today the World is celebrating the Madiba Centenary – the theme of this year’s Mandela Day Celebrations is meant to reflect on the legacy of Madiba by cementing a culture of volunteerism. The hashtag for this year is #actionagainstpoverty.

There are so many initiatives again this year, such as the “Initiative to feed millions for Mandela Day” being run by Pick ‘n Pay and FoodForward South Africa, the aim of which would be to collect 250 tonnes of food over three days to provide over a million meals…

This is all good and well, and well done to them, BUT…

I liked and respected Nelson Mandela, but I do not believe in “Mandela Day” or “16 Days of Activism to oppose Violence Against Women” or any of those “annual commemorative movements” or whatever one wishes to call them and this is why….

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July is International Sarcoma Awareness Month!


The month of July is designated International Sarcoma Awareness Month.

Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues.

They can affect almost any part of the body, on the inside or the outside.

There are three main types of sarcoma: soft tissue sarcoma, bone sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). There are around 100 different sub-types of sarcoma

Sarcomas make up 15% of all childhood cancers (0-14 years) and 11% of all cancer diagnoses in teenagers and young people (15-24 years).

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Can Spider Silk Boost our Immune Systems?


New research showcases an innovative method of delivering vaccines straight to our white blood cells, strengthening the immune system against cancer and serious infections.

Immunotherapy, which is a widely used form of treatment against cancer, boosts the body’s immune system in the fight against tumors.

Immunotherapy works primarily with T cells, which are a type of white blood cell, or lymphocyte.Largely, our immune systems rely on B lymphocytes, which are active in a variety of infections, and T lymphocytes which must be activated when combating cancer or more serious infections such as tuberculosis.

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Feedspot Influential Blog Rank: #4


The Little Fighters Cancer Trust is proud to announce that our Blog has once again – for the 3rd year running – been ranked among the Top Childhood Cancer Blogs on the internet for 2018!

This blog was started in June 2014, and since then we have been hard at work trying to share the most relevant, most up to date information regarding Childhood Cancer as well as some of the Struggles and the Triumphs & Tragedies that accompany Childhood Cancer, and will continue to do so as often as possible for as long as possible.

We moved up from #57 in 2016 to #5 in 2017, and in 2018 we have moved up to 

Feedspot Influential Blog Rank: #4

#ChildhoodCancer   #LittleFighters   #LFCT   #CancerSUCKS #LittleFightersCancerTrust   #HelpingHands   #LFCTCares

 

Thanks a million to all our Supporters and Followers!

 

Could this Drug Protect Children from Hearing Loss after Chemotherapy?


When cisplatin was first used to treat cancer in the late 70s, it made a big impact.

It was the most extraordinary breakthrough treatment,” says Dr Penelope Brock, paediatric consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital. “It started as a treatment for testicular cancer, but it wasn’t long before we started using it to treat children’s cancers as well.”

Unfortunately, as well as killing cancer cells, the chemotherapy also killed cells in the inner ear. This left over 60% of children with hearing loss after treatment.

The unexpected side effect has been a focus of Brock’s research since it was first discovered. And now, almost 40 years later, a solution may have arrived.

New research, funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows a drug called sodium thiosulphate can protect against hearing loss after cisplatin treatment.

“With sodium thiosulphate, we have a real opportunity to make children’s cancer treatment safer. The results have been a long time coming, and I’m so glad they’re finally here.”

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WHO Commission Criticised Over Sugar Taxes in New Report


The World Health Organisation (WHO) Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs’ new report, Time to Deliver, called for urgent action against chronic diseases and mental disorders, the globe’s leading cause of death and ill-health, but failed to include a recommendation on taxing sugary beverages.

Sugar and in particular sugar sweetened beverages are “leading drivers of the obesity epidemic”, said chief executive officer of the global advocacy group the NCD Alliance Katie Dain.

Obesity significantly raises the risk of developing many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and, said Dain, alone, “is estimated to claim at least four million lives each year”.

The report on NCDs, which are chronic non-infectious conditions including cancer, diabetes and mental disorders, aims to galvanise action to stem the death and disease-toll caused by the rise in these diseases. The WHO Independent High-level Commission on NCDs, which produced the report, was convened in 2017 to advise WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the action needed to accelerate progress in the fight against NCDs.

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Alternative Eating for Better Health


While the following article refers more to lifestyle diseases such as HIV Aids, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, eating well and ensuring that you and your Child with Cancer eat sufficient fresh, whole-foods and staying away from processed food as much as possible is critical for your good health.

It is important that we all learn to change our bad eating habits to include healthy eating solutions inspired by traditional southern African foods which contain more Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Fibre, Calcium, Carbohydrates and Protein than what most of us are eating on a daily basis.

Please read this article carefully and take the important information contained therein to heart, but also remember to discuss any changes in eating habits with your child’s oncologist before embarking thereon.

Remember, this is not meant to take the place of any current medication, but as an additional help to build up the immune system.

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Child Cancer Diagnosis – What I Wish I Knew


What do you do when you receive the shocking and unwelcome news that your child has cancer? What do you need? How do you handle it?

What do you do or say when the child of a friend has been diagnosed with cancer? How do you support them best?

What do you say and what should you never, never, EVER say to the parent of a child with cancer?

It is difficult to know what to say even to an adult who has been diagnosed with cancer, let alone to a child or the parent of a child with cancer…

The following was written by the mother of a child with cancer to let everyone know how she felt and what is cool and what is not cool to say to someone whose child has cancer… we hope that it will be of some help to those who have just heard that a friend or family member’s child has just been diagnosed with cancer and the family is about to face the battle of their lives….

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WHY Do We Do What We Do?


The Little Fighters Cancer Trust focuses on helping the Child with Cancer and the whole Family in a Holistic manner because we realise that the whole family is affected when a child has cancer.

Added to this, there are many vastly different belief paradigms in play as South Africa is such a diverse nation and thus it is important to treat every family according to its individual unique set-up, belief system, knowledge about childhood cancer, accessibility to the internet or other sources of information, accessibility to support, etc.

Many of our Little Fighters come from rural areas and when they get diagnosed with cancer, are immediately transferred to a hospital in a urban area where there is a Paediatric Oncology Ward – most of the time without even being able to go back home to collect any clothing or other basic necessities.

Many of the mothers end up sitting in the hospital beside their child’s bed without a change of clothing, toiletries, food, accommodation, or any kind of support base.

Below is an extract from a study conducted in 2016, most of which still remains relevant today – THIS IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!!! THIS is why we need ongoing funding….

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