Blog Archives

Warning Signs of Paediatric Cancers


awareness_childhood_cancer_boxing_penguinCancers are malignant (malicious) growths or tumours caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division which may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream.

An arbitrarily adopted standard of the ages used if they are childhood cancers, are 0–14 years inclusive, that is, up to 14 years 11.9 months of age.

Paediatric oncology is the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children.

Cancer isn’t fair at any age, but perhaps no cancer is more emotionally devastating than those that occur in children. Worldwide, it is estimated that childhood cancer has an incidence of more than 250,000 per year, and a mortality rate of approximately 98,000 per year. Death from Childhood Cancer is second only to death from accidents according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Michael Bublé’s Son Cancer-Free!


michael-buble-with-noah-who-has-just-turned-threeMichael Bublé and his wife, Luisana Lopilato’s 3 year old son Noah was diagnosed with a very rare type of liver cancer, which affects only 1 in 1 million children, in November, 2016. The parents immediately sought the best treatment and Noah then underwent a 4-month journey of treatment.

In early February, Noah’s Aunt Daniela Lopilato, a nutritionist, who was also the one who shared the news that Noah’s diagnosis was liver cancer back in November, shared the happy news that Noah is cancer-free on Argentinian daytime TV.

Michael and his family chose to keep Noah’s exact diagnosis private, but it is most likely Paediatric Hepatoblastoma, the most common form of liver cancer affecting children.

Treatment in most cases involves surgery to reduce the size of the tumour with chemotherapy, then surgery to remove the cancerous part of the liver.

The liver is one of the few human organs that can grow back. More chemotherapy post surgery generally ensures that the cancer cannot return.

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Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Children with Cancer


foodiefriday-wp-logoDoctors have yet to find a definitive link between cancer and food. What they have found, however, is a correlation between certain diets — such as the Mediterranean Diet — and the potential for cancer reduction. Doctors call these diets (often specific to a culture or geographical region) anti-angiogenic, which means that they cut off the blood supply of cancerous tumours, starving them of the nutrients they need to grow.

An easy way to ensure that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient vitamins and nutrition when they find it difficult to eat due to cancer treatments is to make them some delicious cancer-beating smoothies to drink using fruit and veg that have cancer-fighting properties in them

Smoothies have gotten a bad rap in the past for being sugar-laden and more closely resembling dessert than anything remotely healthy, but while that might be true for smoothies purchased at juice shops or in restaurants, you can make healthy smoothie recipes right at home for a fraction of the price in just minutes.

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Recipes for High-Calorie Shakes and Drinks


foodiefriday-wp-logoHi Folks, it is Foodie Friday again, and following on yesterday’s post regarding ensuring that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient calories and proteins in their diet to help them fight their cancer and continue to develop and grow naturally at the same time, here are some great drinks recipes.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

Some Children with Cancer also find it difficult to eat or swallow as a result of the cancer treatments, son one of the best methods of getting them in ingest nutrition is via smoothies and other healthy drinks.

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World Cancer Day ~ 4th February: “We Can ~ I Can.”


world-cancer-day-2017dEvery year on 4th February,  a truly global event takes place ~ World Cancer Day unites the global population in the fight against cancer in an attempt to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising Awareness and Education about the disease, urging governments and individuals across the world to take action.

Despite recent scientific progress in finding treatments and improving patients’ care, 8.2 million people still die each year from cancer, nearly 50% of them between the age of 30 and 69. This figure is expected to rise to 11.5 million by 2025 and 13 million by 2030.

Low- and middle-income countries are more affected than high income countries – two thirds of global cancer deaths occur in these places – and this trend is predicted to continue in the next decade.

One of the ways to reduce mortality rates is to improve early diagnosis strategies. This is the message that the World Health Organization, working closely with World Cancer Day’ organisers, wants to put forward.

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Cancer Benefits of Cardamom


health-benefits-of-cardamomCardamom is a peppery, citrusy spice that is native to the evergreen forests of India and is commonly used in Indian cuisine, but it has also made its way into Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression.

According to various studies, cardamom also contains cancer-fighting compounds with the potential to kill cancer cells as well as stunt new cancer cell growth. In India, Cardamom was known as the “Queen of spices” to black pepper’s title as the “King of spices”. Also in India, during the 11th century, it was listed as one of the ingredients in the “Five fragrance betel chew” in the Book of Splendour.

Historically, spices have shaped many events throughout the world. Many voyagers, including the legendary Christopher Columbus, explored the seas in search of treasured spices. These valued commodities contribute not only flavours but also serve as colorants and preservatives in a wide variety of cultures.

In Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle) and Traditional Chinese Medicine, cardamom was believed to be a remedy for teeth and gum infections, throat problems, congestion of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of the eyelids, gastrointestinal disorders, disintegrating kidney, and gall bladder stones, and was also used as an antidote for poisons and venoms.

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Helping Your Child with Cancer Cope


cancer-childA cancer diagnosis brings with it not only pain and treatments, but a complete lifestyle change – there are all the appointments, tests, medications, infusions, scans, special diets, and so on to deal with; time in and out of hospital; fatigue, lethargy, boredom and a change in eating habits…

For children things are worse, because they can often not go to school while under treatment due to their impaired immune systems and possibilities of infection; often they can also not even see their friends and need to keep themselves entertained for days, weeks and even months on end. I mean, adult company is OK, but when you are a child you need to play and need other children around…

The sudden move from health to illness and the unwelcome tests and procedures needed to get a diagnosis can be very frightening for a child, and hospital stays can be a scary and overwhelming experience.

It’s very scary for a child to be told their body is not working right, and that they have cancer and it is completely normal for a child or teen to be afraid of new and often painful experiences.

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A Little Reminder of What We Do


goldribbonIt being the beginning of another year, we thought that we would just remind everyone exactly what it is that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust actually does apart from posting on this blog and on our Facebook Page….

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust (LFCT) is a South African Non-Profit Organisation that offers various types of support to Children with Cancer and their Families throughout South Africa. We are the VOICE of Childhood Cancer Awareness and the HANDS of Childhood Cancer Support!

LFCT is committed to providing support in an holistic manner, treating each Child with Cancer and his/her Family as individuals, as we understand and respect the uniqueness of each situation. It is also our mission to preserve the dignity and pride of each individual.

We undertake to promote and advocate National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase the amount of diagnosed Childhood Cancer cases in South Africa. Childhood Cancer Awareness will translate into an increase in earlier diagnosis, which will result in a higher survival rate for Children with Cancer in South Africa.

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Honouring Caleb Tristan van der Westhuizen – ^Forever 5^


Caleb Sept 2015Caleb Tristan van der Westhuizen was a normal, beautiful little curly-haired young lad of 4, whom his parents were very proud of, when he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in September 2015.

Caleb underwent various treatments for his cancer, including various operations as well as undergoing Chemotherapy and Retinoid Therapy  (Retinoids are chemicals that are related to vitamin A. They are known as differentiating agents because they are thought to help some cancer cells mature into normal cells. In children with high-risk neuroblastoma, treatment with a retinoid called 13-cis-retinoic acid [isotretinoin] reduces the risk of the cancer coming back after high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant.)

Things generally went well for Caleb, with the usual ups and owns that are part of fighting childhood cancer. Unfortunately Caleb relapsed in December 2016, and he was readmitted to hospital for pain-control.

Just before Christmas the family got the devastating news that Caleb was terminal, after which he received Radiation Therapy and Pain Control Treatment.

Unfortunately, Caleb lost his fight with cancer on 16th January 2017 and was laid to rest on Saturday 21st January. Read the rest of this entry

Teen Cancer Fighter Miché Aces Matric


January 12, 2017. Cape Town. Vanessa Gertse received the MEC's special award for exeptional academic achievment. With her is Premier Helen Zille, MEC Debbie Scafer and Brian Schreuder - Head of education dept. Photo by Ruvan Boshoff

Miché Gertse aka Iron Girl, is a Little Fighters Cancer Trust Teen Fighter and Ambassador who has just, despite battling through overwhelming odds, attained TWO DISTINCTIONS and a university exemption.

Although 17-year-old Miché , a matriculant from Bernadino Heights High, may not have been the Western Cape’s best matriculant, she was awarded the Ministerial Award for Excellence last week by Premier Helen Zille at her official residence in Gardens‚ Leeuwenhof, together with 60 other members of the class of 2016 honoured by the provincial government.

Miché’s story is one of overcoming overwhelming odds and extreme courage in the face of devastating Childhood Cancer.

Miché was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2007 at the age of 10, whereafter she had a tumour removed from her right leg, and her femur was replaced with a metal prosthesis.

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What Goes Down at LFCT’s Santa’s Workshop


cute_santa_and_kid_png_clipartHere at the Little Fighter’s Cancer Trust the many are served by the few, and those few do everything that needs to be done.

As anyone who knows anything about a non-profit organisation knows, there is no such thing as a “job-description” because no matter whether you are management or janitorial staff, when the chips are down, you jump in and do what is needed at the time…

… This is never more true than at the end of each year when our Christmas Elf Project takes place…

Here is a little glance into what goes on in the LFCT Santa’s Workshop once all the gifts that have been donated/bought have been collected from our Christmas Elves and transported to the LFCT Santa Workshop ( which is housed in our “Office” – the home of the Founders of LFCT).

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Michael Bublé’s 3-Year-Old Son Noah Battling Childhood Cancer


michael-buble-with-noah-who-has-just-turned-threeMichael Bublé’s 3-year-old son Noah was diagnosed with liver cancer last month, and already he’s undergoing intense chemotherapy treatment that is set to continue for four months.

Mom Lusisana took Noah to the Otamendi Miroli Hospital in Buenos Aires in November because he had a high fever.

After an exhaustive examination, doctors ruled out mumps and suggested two possibilities, a throat infection or mononucleosis. To rule out the second possibility they had to carry out a battery of tests which included an abdominal ultrasound.

On October 27, after a throat swab, they confirmed he had a throat infection and not mononucleosis but the ultrasound had detected a liver problem. The doctors told Luisana that Noah had a stain on his liver which did not have different tones so it was probably benign, but that they had to perform more tests.

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