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What is #GivingTuesday?


Giving Tuesday was created when two organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012, about a month before that year’s Thanksgiving.

Their intention was to set aside a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving, a great American tradition.

As a global movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and Holiday Season, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.

While this is only the seventh annual Giving Tuesday, the movement continues to show exponential growth year over year. In 2017, Giving Tuesday raised more than 300 million dollars in donations – a 69% increase from the previous year.

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What is Interventional Radiology for Paediatric Cancer Patients?


Interventional radiology offers a set of minimally invasive procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care for certain diseases, such as cancer.

This subspecialty in interventional radiology is also known as interventional oncology.

These procedures can be alternative options to open biopsies and surgeries, and are typically shorter, relatively less risky and associated with faster recovery.

Interventional oncology uses image-guided tools much like the GPS system to target the tumour area and perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in patients through the use of catheters, needles, and tiny probes (tiny instruments inserted into small incisions or natural body openings).

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Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Cancer?


Hydrogen peroxide is often used to whiten teeth, treat minor cuts and scrapes, or dye one’s hair. Some individuals claim that hydrogen peroxide can also help cure cancer, but what does the research say?

Claims that hydrogen peroxide can also help cure cancer stem from the fact that it is an oxidising liquid, which means it gives off oxygen. Low oxygen levels can cause cancer, and some people think that exposing cancer cells to high levels of oxygen will prevent them from growing and they will die.

This type of therapy is often known as oxy medicine, oxidology, or oxidative therapy.

No current research suggests hydrogen peroxide has any effect on cancer cells. There are, however, many warnings against using it internally.

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A Plant Based Diet is Good for Fighting Cancer


The basic principles of a plant-based diet (PBD) are that it focuses on whole, minimally processed foods – whole grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts should make up the majority of what you eat – and limits animal products. A PBD also excludes refined foods, like added sugars, white flour, and processed oils.

A plant-based diet is rooted in food quality, promoting locally sourced, organic food whenever possible.

A healthy diet and lifestyle help in the fight against cancer — whether treating it or in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.

Various studies on the mental health of people on a prolonged vegan or plant-based diet have found something fantastic – it really helps with anxiety, mood swings, and stress levels, all of which is really good news for someone fighting cancer.

A 2018 study published in American Family Physician noted, “Recommending an eating style can help patients make positive change. Dietary patterns that support health … have benefits that include prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and obesity.”

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Can Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer?


Conventional cancer treatments can be devastating to the human body, even more so to a small child’s body that is still growing.

While there are yet no other treatments to fight childhood cancer, especially to those in poorer countries, than the old ones such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, more and more individuals are also using complementary methods.

Not every conventional or complementary method will work for every individual, but it is surely up to us to try whichever method we can to fight this terrible disease – as long as it does no harm, it could do good.

Something that falls under the banner of complementary treatment is mushrooms – more specifically, Reishi mushrooms, aka Ling zhi, Lin zi, and Mushroom of Immortality – which various studies from around the globe have shown to be effective in fighting cancer.

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Doctors Prescribe Nature for Chronic Disease


Spending the day outside in nature is wonderful; tiring perhaps, but also deeply satisfying. Our relationship to nature is primal – we thrive on it!

Urbanisation is taking a toll on our brain function and mental health. City dwellers have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, mood disorders and schizophrenia compared to those who live in rural areas.

In order to counteract this, all you need do is spend some time in nature. This can include many different natural environments, such as city parks, farms, beaches, wilderness areas or even just in your home garden. The most important thing is to find somewhere with as many living things and as little evidence of human presence as possible.

Spending time in green spaces is absolutely crucial to human wellness, and modern doctors are finally starting to realise how powerful nature can be – especially when it comes to those with chronic health issues.

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Modern Day Romeo & Juliet has Happy Ending


Back in the late 1980s, young Joel Alsup, a 7-year-old from Chattanooga, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which would result in the amputation of his right arm.

In 1991, 10-year-old Lindsey Wilkerson from Crane, Mo. was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the same hospital.

The two frightened children overcame childhood cancer to become friends, best friends, then husband and wife.

Our families would actually sit in the waiting room and visit while she was in treatment and I was coming back for checkups,” Joel says.

I don’t think they even knew each other’s names then. We had no idea where it would end,” said Lindsey’s mother.

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More than just Treatments needed for Childhood Cancer


Connor Webb developed a lump on his right thumb that raised concerns with his mother, Kim, but when queried about it, doctors told her not to worry about it and to just “take care of it whenever.”

Eventually though, the lump doubled in size, prompting surgery to remove it, but the subsequent phone call from the doctor stunned Kim – Connor had been diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a slow-growing soft-tissue cancer.

After a month of tests and scans, Connor underwent a full resection of the tumour plus a bit of surrounding tissue to prevent recurrence and regained full use of his thumb. Later CT and MRI scans show no evidence of disease (NED).

This has, however, not put his mother at ease, as epithelioid sarcoma has a very ugly secret…

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Increased Risk of Breast Cancer for Female Child Cancer Survivors?


Researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have evidence that common genetic variations can help to identify paediatric cancer survivors who are at increased risk for developing breast cancer while relatively young. The findings were published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

The research focused on the combined effect of 170 common genetic variations that individually confer a modest increased risk of breast cancer, and showed for the first time that, together, they can leave female paediatric cancer survivors at as much as double the increased risk of breast cancer compared to average survivors. The risk is greatest for survivors younger than 45.

Female survivors of childhood cancer have among the highest rates of breast cancer of any group,” said lead author Zhaoming Wang, Ph.D., an associate member of the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control and the Department of Computational Biology. That risk has mainly been attributed to the late effects of pediatric cancer treatment, particularly chest irradiation, certain chemotherapy exposures, or the presence of rare mutations in breast cancer susceptibility genes.

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Kids Kicking Cancer – Power Peace Purpose


Last week I was privileged to have been invited to the official South African Launch of a program for children with cancer called Kids Kicking Cancer!

Kids Kicking Cancer is an initiative that was started in America in 1999 by
Founding Director, Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg (Rabbi G), and began providing classes in several public hospitals in South Africa earlier this year.

Last Tuesday was the Official Johannesburg launch and Wednesday was the Official Cape Town launch, which I was privileged to attend, and hear firsthand about what the program offers as well as meet Rabbi G, Professor Alan Davidson, Head of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology at Red Cross Children’s Hospital,  Chairperson Dr Richard Friedland, and other Board Members; the two wonderful people working with our little fighters, Ilze van der Merwe in Cape Town and Moses Sebopa in Johannesburg, and of course, our Little Heroes from Cape Town; Hayden, Monalisa and Ferdi.

We think this is a FANTASTIC program that will benefit our Little Fighters greatly,  and we encourage all parents of Children with Cancer to get their little fighters registered on the program.

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