Posted by: Win | 2009-04-02


I have a lump next to my breast and I have had a horse voice, terrible cough and shortness of breath for over 4 months now. I have been to the doctor who put me on antibiotics but he wants me to go for x-rays and a mammogram etc. He has admitted that he suspects it could be cancer. My problem is that if it is cancer I simply cannot afford the treatment, even if I sold everything I own I could only raise about R30 000 at most. I see no point in going for expensive tests, having it confirmed and then not being able to do anything about it. Do you know of anywhere I can go and get treatment? I am over 60 and I know the government hospitals will not spend money on older people with cancer - my father-in-law had cancer and they would only give him pain killers, they said there was no point in spending money on treating an old person who would probably die within a few years anyway. I am in the Cape Town area.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Win
Even if you do not get treated to "heal" the cancer, one should get treatment to prevent this from becoming an open, oozing, foul smelling and painful sore eventually, there is a doctor in Cape town at Grootte Schuur ( Dr Murray) that specializes in breast cancer, and they also do clinical trials, which may give you access to some of the newer medications otherwise not available to state patients. The way doctors look at cancer treatment has also changed a lot over the last few years. Please have it looked at as soon as possible.
Dr Bets

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