Blog Archives

Remedies for Diarrhoea after Cancer Therapy


Conventional Cancer Treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy unfortunately generally come with a variety of not-so-nice side effects, such as diarrhoea, one of the more dangerous side effects.

Diarrhoea can not only be painful, but it also removes important nutrients, probiotics, and water from the body. As a result, diarrhoea puts one at a higher risk for more trauma from infection and dehydration.

It is important to manage these side effects immediately to prevent further complications that will weaken your body. The best way to heal is to ensure that you eat only healthy foods and avoid problematic foods that are going to worsen your diarrhoea.

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High Levels of Education Linked to Heightened Brain Tumour Risk


A university degree is linked to a heightened risk of developing a brain tumor, suggests a large observational study, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Gliomas, in particular, were more common among people who had studied at university for at least three years than they were among those who didn’t go on to higher education, the data show.

The researchers base their findings on more than 4.3 million Swedes, all of whom were born between 1911 and 1961 and living in Sweden in 1991.

They were monitored between 1993 and 2010 to see if they developed a primary brain tumor, and information on educational attainment, disposable income, marital status, and occupation was obtained from national insurance, labour market,and national census data.

During the monitoring period, 1.1 million people died and more than 48,000 emigrated, but 5735 of the men and 7101 of the women developed a brain tumour. Read the rest of this entry

The Ugly Business of Cancer!!


What most people do not realise, is that Cancer is a Business!! This is the ugly fact that parents are not told on the fateful day that their child is diagnosed with cancer.

Finding out that your child has cancer is devastating enough in itself, but what is even worse are the months and years that follow… the fight against this monstrous disease, the toll it takes on your child with cancer, your other children, your spouse, your marriage/relationship, your familial relationships, your friendships, your work, your own health, and your finances.

When we talk about The Business of Cancer, we are not only talking about the financial costs of Childhood Cancer Treatment, although they are high, but everything that it takes to deal with a diagnosis of Childhood Cancer…

A typical cancer patient’s treatment can easily cost hundreds of thousands of rands per year:

Depending on the kind of cancer and the complexity of a case, treatment per year can cost less than R10 000, or way over R1 million,” according to Dr Ernst Marais, Operations Executive at the Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON). Read the rest of this entry

South African Singing Doctor to Launch Debut Album in Cape Town


One of The Mother’s City top singing-doctors is set to launch a new CD later this month, with the sole purpose of using his passion to make a difference in his community.

Upright Citizen is the début musical album released by singing-doctor Marc Hendricks, and he is set to dazzle Cape Town audiences at the Artscape Theatre on 22 April, for a one-night only performance.

Dr. Marc is well-known to the Little Fighters Cancer Trust, as he is the much-loved and well-respected treating oncologist for many of our Little Fighters, who spend a lot of time at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Proceeds of the show will be donated to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for transformation initiatives.

Dr. Marc, as he is fondly referred to by our Little Fighters and their Families, is a wonderful, caring, compassionate Paediatric Oncologist who also has the voice of an angel (listen to him performing his composition BIRD SONG on the video below).

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Would YOU like to Volunteer @ The Little Fighters Cancer Trust?


 

Helping Hands

The Only Arms That Can Reach Everywhere Are Those Of The Community!

Every day the Little Fighters Cancer Trust gets loads of phone calls, e-mails and enquiries on our Facebook Page from individuals who want to know how they can help us to help our Little Fighters and their families.

We really appreciate all the offers and enquiries, but we cannot always get to them as we are only 3 full-time staff who have a mountain of things to do, so we have made it very easy for you to offer help…

Like any NGO, we survive on donations, all of which (and more) are desperately needed to do whatever we can for our Little Fighters and their Families, so we definitely do need as many volunteers as possible.

Unfortunately most people want to work directly with the children, but this is not possible most of the time as the hospitals have major red-tape about visitors to the paediatric oncology wards – and for good reason – primarily that these Little Fighters all have impaired immune systems and the slightest infection could mean disaster for them.

We do, however have many other forms of volunteerism, and if you would like to help please look through the descriptions of the volunteers that we do need and see which would suit you.

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The Face of a True Warrior


This is 10-year-old Little Fighter Brendon, and last week he made a short video for all his supporters to tell them how he was doing and thank them for the support; he first did this in Afrikaans (his home language) but when asked by Mandie if next time he could do one in English for those Little Fighter Supporters who do not understand Afrikaans, he immediately made a second one in English – what a CHAMP!!!

What is more important though, is that he made these videos a short few days after massive surgery to place a Broviac Line as well as open chest surgery to do a biopsy on his thymus.

This is what inspires us about our Little Fighters and keeps us doing what we do – all of these children who are fighting cancer are SO strong and somehow, through it all they all smile most of the time…

Brendon suffered from severe abdominal pain and cramping and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2016, but his suffering continued as did the doctors visits, various medications, various medical tests, and loads of financial and psychological stress for the whole family.

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Helen’s Story – Retinoblastoma Part 2


 

Helen 2nd birthday mickey mouse party

Hey There,

Helen and mommy Siobahn here again – today we are going to continue with “Helen’s Story” because we want everyone out there to know about Childhood Cancer and about my cancer, Retinoblastoma.

Now that the problem had been diagnosed as Retinoblastoma, things moved along very quickly. The diagnosis was made on the Thursday and the operation to remove the eye was scheduled for the next Monday.

Helen underwent an MRI Scan as well as a Lumbar Puncture in order to determine whether cancer was present anywhere else in Helen’s body. Fortunately all tests came back negative and it was determined that the cancer was confined to Helen’s left eye.

Helen underwent surgery to remove the eye and she and mommy stayed overnight in ICU and in the normal Paediatric ward the next night, during which time Helen she had a plaster over her eye. The plaster was removed before she went home the next day and replaced by a transparent shield to prevent infection and was removed two weeks later.

A ball implant was inserted into the empty eye socket and Helen currently wears nothing over the eye  – she will get a prosthesis when she is a little bit older and able to handle the hygiene it requires (toddlers tend to play in the sand or touch unhygienic toys etc. and then rub their eyes).

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Helen’s Story – Retinoblastoma Part 1


 

Helen 7 months old

Hi,

my name is Helen and my mommy and I would like to share my story with you so that more people can get to know about Childhood Cancer; in this case specifically Retinoblastoma.

Retinoblastoma is a type of eye cancer that develops in the light-sensitive lining of the eye, called the retina, and can occur at any age but mainly occurs in children younger than 5 years of age and most often in those younger than 2.

Retinoblastoma may occur in one or both eyes, but rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Although it is the most common eye tumour in children, it is a rare childhood cancer and accounts for about 3-4% of childhood cancers.

The main challenge of treating Retinoblastoma is the prevention of blindness, however approximately 98% of children with retinoblastoma are cured.

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Foodie Friday: Healthy Vegetarian/Vegan Meals


foodiefriday-wp-logoA diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment can result in irregular food and fluid intake, weight loss, and nutritional deficiencies. There is frequently an increased need for calories and protein while there is usually a decreased appetite.

Chemotherapy, for example, works by killing or disabling cancer cells. Unfortunately, this targets not only the tumour, but some healthy tissues as well, including the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

While some of these drugs produce only mild side effects, others can pack a wallop. The effects of radiation therapy can be similar to those of chemotherapy, but these are usually related to the part of the body that is being treated. This means that radiation to the head, neck, chest, and abdomen can result in a lot of GI distress.

Side Effects That Cancer Patients Experience

  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Open, sore areas in the mouth and/or throat
  • Loss or change of taste perception
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Feeling of fullness after eating or drinking very small portions

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10 Portions of Fruit &Veg Daily Best for Health


fruits-and-vegetables-smAccording to most doctors and nutritionists, eating five portions of fruits and vegetables daily is considered sufficient for good health, but a recent study, reported in the International Journal of Epidemiology,  posits that the greatest benefits come from eating 10 portions a day.

An analysis of 95 studies assessing the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption have led researchers to believe that eating 800 grams (around 10 portions of 80 grams) of fruits and vegetables daily was associated with the lowest risk of disease and premature death.

One portion of fruits of vegetables was defined as 80 grams – the equivalent to a small banana, pear, or apple, or three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as peas, broccoli, or cauliflower.

The study, undertaken by Lead author Dr. Dagfinn Aune, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues, took into consideration 95 studies that involved almost 2 million participants and around 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 94,000 deaths.

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The Impact of the Inequality Gap on Health


incomeWhat good does it do to treat people and send them back to the conditions that made them sick?”

This is the question Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, said he asks himself repeatedly, during a speech he recently gave at Wits University regarding why health is not simply a matter of access to medical care.

Sir Michael is an expert in health and inequality, and says that as societies around the world become more unequal, the gap between levels of health widens.

Social injustice is the biggest threat to global health and a radical change in society is needed if we really want people to live long healthy lives,” he added

The Professor, who has conducted research on health inequalities in communities across the world, compared a boy growing up in the affluent suburb of Greater Roland Park in Baltimore, United States to one growing up in the Upton Druid Heights neighbourhood in Baltimore’s inner city.

Even though they grew up a mere few kilometres apart, according to Marmot  the boy from   Roland Park can expect to live to the age of 83 whereas the one living in the inner city, will likely die 20 years earlier at the age of 63.

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High Cost of Cancer Treatments Impact Medication Adherence


pillsAccording to a recent study conducted by researchers at the American Cancer Society and published in the journal Cancer, the high ever-rising cost of cancer treatment is affecting prescription drug adherence.

The study, which used data from the National Health Interview Survey, found that patients with cancer were far more likely to stop taking their medication or switch it for financial reasons than patients with other diseases.

Rising deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance and tiered drug formularies all contribute to the increasing percentage of cancer care cost that patients must now pay for out of pocket. This can affect survivors’ overall wellbeing, lead to poorer treatment choices, have a negative effect on outcomes and cause higher medical expenses down the line, according to the study.

I would encourage patients to discuss their financial concerns with their care providers when making treatment decisions,” said Xuesong Han, Ph.D., strategic director, Health Policy and Healthcare Delivery Research at the American Cancer Society, and author on the study.

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