Our modern germ-free life is the cause of the most common type of cancer in children, according to one of Britain’s most eminent scientists.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) affects one in 2,000 children.
Prof Mel Greaves, from the Institute of Cancer Research, has amassed 30 years of evidence to show the immune system can become cancerous if it does not “see” enough bugs early in life.
It means it may be possible to prevent the disease.
The type of blood cancer is more common in advanced, affluent societies, suggesting something about our modern lives might be causing the disease.
There have been wild claims linking power cables, electromagnetic waves and chemicals to the cancer.
That has been dismissed in this work published in Nature Reviews Cancer.
Instead, Prof Greaves – who has collaborated with researchers around the world – says there are three stages to the disease.
The first is a seemingly unstoppable genetic mutation that happens inside the womb. Then a lack of exposure to microbes in the first year of life fails to teach the immune system to deal with threats correctly.
This sets the stage for an infection to come along in childhood, cause an immune malfunction and leukaemia.
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….
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….
On Saturday night Lizelma and I were privileged to attend the Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018 Competition as the Little Fighters Cancer Trust was the beneficiary on the night, and what a wonderful, sparkling, professional, fun evening it was.
Young ladies and gentlemen from all over the Winelands took part and strutted their stuff on the stage – we were just very pleased that we were not asked to be judges as they had an enormous task ahead of them – but they acquitted themselves very well.
It was such fun to watch the little ones, the young ladies were all decked out in their finest gowns and the gentlemen were decked out in their fines too, bow ties and all [ Lizelma wanted to take one or two home with her…. 😉 ]
On Tuesday 15th May, Team LFCT and Friend and Supporter Charlene Elliot took the opportunity to make the Onco Mommies at Tygerberg Hospital G3 Paediatric Oncology Ward feel a little bit spoiled by organising some lovely presents and snacks for them.
These mommies go through such a hard time, some of them spending months at the hospital while their child is undergoing treatment – most often without any friends or family to support them through what must be one of the most terrifying times any mother could ever have to endure.
It was lovely to see the mommies just sit down and relax for a bit, to have a bite to eat and talk and laugh a little.
On 7th May the Little Fighters Cancer Trust Representative in Pietermaritzburg, Lauren Hook, and a team of wonderful caring women took time out to treat all the Mothers of Children with Cancer in the Oncology Ward at Greys’ Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to a bit of an early Mother’s Day Picnic in the garden of the hospital.
The mommies were treated to some lovely snacks and juice, and thanks to the wonderful team of ladies from Blu Gel Hair Salon, a fantastic and relaxing Indian Head Massage. Friends from Salon Gemini also gave the ladies a manicure and did their nails.
All of the children in the ward were also given beanies and colouring-in books and crayons.
A risk-factor is anything that affects a person’s chance of getting a disease such as brain cancer.
Different types of cancer have different risk factors, and this article only deals with the potential risk-factors for brain cancer.
Lifestyle-related risk-factors such as diet, body weight, physical activity, and tobacco use play a major role in many adult cancers, but these factors usually take many years to influence cancer risk, therefore logic says that they do not have much of a role in childhood cancers, including brain tumours.
Very few risk factors have been found for brain and spinal cord tumours. There is no clear cause for most of these tumours.
Nutrition is very important for Children with Cancer, because the presence of the tumour as well as the treatments that they undergo play havoc with their immune systems as well as various other systems in their little bodies.
A malignant tumour leads to changes in a child’s metabolism; their system is unable to regulate the expenditure of energy according to the reduced energy intake, leading to an ineffective use of nutrients and contributing to the development of malnutrition. Malnutrition can lead to lower survival rates in children with brain cancer.
Children with cancer, especially those with solid tumours, have reduced body protein stores due to whole body protein breakdown. This may occur as a result of the cancer itself, the treatment they are undergoing for their tumour, or complications of the disease.
Hoërskool SPS Brandfort was one of only 3 schools to respond to our Barefoot for a Day Schools Challenge – and they responded MAGNIFICENTLY!!!
We were contacted by a representative of the School, Franchelle Posthumus, who advised that the school holds an annual ‘Mnr. & Mej. SPS’, and that they are allowed to choose a charity organisation every second year, and would really like to choose Little Fighters Cancer Trust if we would agree.
Of course we readily agreed and said “yes please, and thank you very much, we would love to be HSPS’s beneficiary for 2018!”