It is almost three months since – partly through the efforts of SECTION27 and Cancer Alliance – money was made available to the Gauteng Health Department to outsource radiation oncology services and address surgical backlogs in the province. It is deeply worrying that despite being provided with resources for this outsourcing project, very little has been done to date to ensure that patients get the long overdue care that they need, writes Khanyisa Mapipa.
The World Health Organization in February this year said that an estimated 1.1 million new cancer cases are being reported in Africa each year with around 700 000 deaths from cancer. A recent report provides important new data on cancer in South Africa, but the picture remains incomplete. Ufrieda Ho reports.
As one of eight CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) homes offering accommodation to cancer patients while on treatment around South Africa, Eikehof in Athlone is a godsend for many. Bienne Huisman visited the facility and spoke to staff and some patients.
On 8 March 2023, the Gauteng MEC for Finance delivered his budget speech in which he indicated that an amount of R784 million has been set aside for the provincial health department to “address backlogs in surgical and radiation oncology services” in Gauteng. Khanyisa Mapipa and Salomé Meyer reflect on the work done to get to this point.
Lenalidomide is an important medicine used for the treatment of multiple myeloma – a type of bone marrow cancer that is not curable and typically requires long-term, ongoing treatment. Over the last decade, the price of this drug has fluctuated dramatically in South Africa and patients and their doctors have gone to extreme lengths to access it. Catherine Tomlinson unpacks the remarkable recent history of lenalidomide.
A cancer patient navigator’s work days can be filled with both hope and hell, but their role can make all the difference when someone receives what can be the most devastating news of their lives. Ufrieda Ho spent some time with a cancer patient navigator for a glimpse of what it takes to do this job.