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CCI Annual International Conference in Kyoto, Japan

After 5 years, the annual Childhood Cancer International (CCI) conference is back in Asia!!

The conference theme this year is the CCI tagline: Advancing Cure, Transforming Care. This builds on the promise CCI’s founding members made 24 years ago that children with cancer everywhere, will get the best possible treatment and care.

The conference will be held on 16-19 November 2018 in Kyoto, one of the most beautiful historical cities in Japan and the Imperial Capital of Japan for 1,000 years. The CCI Survivors Program will be on 14-15 November 2018. You will find the initial information about the conference on the official website,

Local Host: Children’s Cancer Association of Japan (also celebrating 50 years in 2018)
Conference Venues: 16 Nov am: ROHM Theatre Kyoto, 16 Nov pm – 19 Nov: ICC Kyoto


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Childhood Cancer Survivors Need to be Aware of Future Health Risks

According to the American Cancer Society, there are in excess of 15 million cancer survivors, in the US, of which approximately 419,000 were under 20 years of age when first diagnosed with cancer.

These figures are proof that medical advances in treating cancer are allowing people to live longer, but with this comes a warning that many of these treatments can lead to future health troubles, including second cancers, heart problems, infertility and fatigue.

A recent study published in the journal Cancer found that a large percentage of childhood cancer survivors are not sufficiently concerned about their future health risks.

The lack of concern is significant because some survivors may not engage in risk-reduction activities, such as recommended screening tests and healthy behaviours,” according to Todd Gibson, Ph.D., assistant member of the Epidemiology and Cancer Control Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and author of the study.

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Do Alternative Therapies Decrease a Cancer Patient’s Survival Chances?

Here at LFCT we post about various methods of fighting cancer, as we believe in putting all relevant information out there for the patient (or the patient’s parents) as we believe that it is up to them to decide the way forward.

We neither recommend nor discourage the use of alternative/complementary treatments, although we DO urge everyone to discuss their possible use BEFORE embarking on any other treatment regimen…

A recent study of 1,290 patients in the US found that Cancer patients who use alternative therapies are be more likely to shun conventional treatments and risk their chances of survival.

People who received such therapies often refused life-saving care such as chemotherapy or surgery and fewer survived five years after starting treatment compared to those on standard care. Experts urged patients not to ditch proven cancer medicines.

Researchers said the use of alternative therapies, which include certain diets, minerals and vitamin infusions, was growing in the US but there was limited research on how effective they are. Their study looked at 258 patients who had used these therapies with at least one standard treatment, compared to 1,032 who only received conventional care.

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Help your Child With Cancer’s Sibling(s) Still Feel Important

Being a sibling of a child with cancer can be very scary and confusing. Family dynamics change, schedules are unpredictable and schoolwork and activities can start to fall through the cracks.

Many parents of children battling cancer express guilt that their healthy children are unintentionally overlooked while they are forced to focus on their sick child’s immediate needs.

Apart from the fact that one of the parents, usually the mother, is either absent from the home for days weeks and sometimes even months at a time as she is at her sick child’s hospital bed, even when everyone is at home, dealing with a child with cancer and all that goes with that is time-consuming and exhausting.

This is even more difficult in single-parent families (as many of our childhood cancer families are).

Many mothers have expressed to us that their other children have become very naughty and often rude to them and/or ignore them completely as they are jealous of the attention given to their sibling and the fact that their mother is hardly ever around to pay attention to them, misses school activities etc.

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Landmark Suit against Monsanto over Cancer Allegations

A landmark suit against Monsanto about the alleged cancer risks of the company’s popular weedkiller, Roundup, has started in San Francisco. Thousands have brought similar legal claims across the US.

Dewayne Johnson said that if he had known what he knew now about Roundup weedkiller, “I would’ve never sprayed that product on school grounds … if I knew it would cause harm … It’s unethical.” The Guardian reports that Johnson, a former school groundskeeper in northern California who is terminally ill, was testifying in his landmark suit against Monsanto about the cancer risks of the company’s popular weedkiller. He is the first person to take the agrochemical company to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand is linked to cancer.

The report says he spoke for the first time during the trial in San Francisco, detailing his use of Monsanto’s products, his extensive exposure to herbicides, and his belief that the chemicals caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a blood cell cancer. He also described the suffering he endured as skin lesions took over his body. “I’ve been going through a lot of pain,” said Johnson, a father of three who goes by the name Lee. “It really takes everything out of you … I’m not getting any better.” His doctors have said he may have just months to live.

Johnson’s lawyers have argued in court that Monsanto has “fought science” over the years and worked to “bully” researchers who have raised concerns about potential health risks of its herbicide product. At the start of the trial, the attorneys presented internal Monsanto emails that they said revealed the corporation’s repeated efforts to ignore expert’s warnings while seeking favourable scientific analyses and helping to “ghost-write” positive papers.

The report says thousands have brought similar legal claims across the US, and a federal judge in California ruled this month that hundreds of cancer survivors or those who lost loved ones can also proceed to trial. Johnson’s case has attracted international attention, with the judge allowing his team to present scientific arguments about glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide.

The report says Monsanto has continued to assert that Roundup, which is registered in 130 countries and approved for use on more than 100 crops, is safe and not linked to cancer, despite studies suggesting the contrary. Notably, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015, a decision that has been central at the trial.

The report quotes Monsanto as saying that studies that have found Roundup is safe. They said: “We have empathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the scientific evidence clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause.”


Source: Medical Brief

The Guardian report

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.


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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Losing a Child is Painful

crying is a releaseThe loss of a child is probably the most painful experience any parent can endure.

July is International Bereaved Parents Awareness Month and during this time the Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to remember and reach out to all those parents who have lost their children to Cancer.

The loss of a child is the most inconsolable of losses; It violates the natural order of things. Here at LFCT we unfortunately see too many parents face this devastating loss, and it breaks our hearts every time we do, but even we cannot really say that we know what they are feeling.

International Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is a time to reach out to bereaved parents and their families by giving them someone who will listen to them without trying to give them advice as to how to feel or act; someone to just “be there” for them, to give them a shoulder to cry on or a hug if they need it, or to just let them talk…

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New Hope for Fatal Childhood Brain Cancer (DIPG)?

Brain tumours are hard to treat. But even this is a harrowing understatement for some forms of the disease.

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is one such example. These rare brain tumours almost exclusively affect children, and they’re invariably fatal.

Almost all children with DIPG sadly die within a couple of years of diagnosis,” says Professor Chris Jones from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, a Cancer Research UK-funded expert on the disease.

There aren’t any effective treatments.”

One of the main reasons that the outlook for DIPG is so poor is down to where it grows in the brain. These tumours start in the brainstem, which lies at the base of the brain and hooks up the spinal cord with deeper brain regions. This crucial piece of machinery controls many of the body’s vital processes, such as breathing and our heart beat.

That means surgery – a cornerstone treatment for many cancers – is out of the question. Drugs are also notoriously ineffective for brain tumours, because most are shut out by the protective blood brain barrier.

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LFCT Share the Warmth 2018 Outreach – Greys’ Hospital Pietermaritzburg

Inge Millbank, Lauren Hook (LFCT) Shareen Ferreira Scott (67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Pietermaritzburg)

The first of our “Share the Warmth” 2018 Hospital Outreaches has been done!

Each winter the Little Fighters Cancer Trust does several winter warmth projects which we have rolled into one this year, and although donations have been very slow in coming in this year and we are hectically busy with restructuring, we will do what we can to share the warmth in as many hospitals as possible.

On Sunday 24th June our wonderful LFCT Representative Lauren Hook, accompanied by Shareen Ferreira Scott (Ambassador – 67 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Pietermaritzburg), her daughter Erin Scott and Inge Millbank paid a visit to the Paediatric Oncology Ward of Greys’ Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to distribute warm winter blankets and some other goodies.

Each child in the ward received a lovely snuggly warm blanket to fend off the cold – these Little Fighters get REALLY cold due to the treatments they undergo for their cancer, as well as due to impaired immune systems, so they really need to keep warm at all times.

Each mother – who spends weeks, sometimes months at a time in the hospital with her child, generally sitting in a chair at their bedside and more often than not sleeping in that chair too – also received a lovely blanket to keep them warm during their bedside vigil.

Some lovely warm knitted scarves were also handed over, and received with much gratitude.


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