The 4th of
February marks the International World Cancer Day and the International
Childhood Cancer Day follows on the 15th of February.
Cancer is the leading cause
of death globally and the top killer among the non-communicable diseases
(NCD’s) which are the major focus of the WHO and UN. Over 100 000 South Africans are being diagnosed with cancer annually, and more
people around the world are dying from this illness than TB, Aids and malaria
Statistics also show that one in four people in South
Africa is impacted by this illness, either as a cancer patient themselves or
because they are close to someone who has cancer.
The World Economic Forum held
in Davos from the 21-24 January had two sessions dedicated to the role of
political, civic and business leaders role in turning the tide on cancer.
The 2015 global campaign for
World Cancer Day 2015 is themed: ‘Not Beyond Us’.
With the focus on:
• Achieving cancer treatment for all
quality of life
Test yourself: Am I at risk of cancer?
For South Africa this would
National Cancer Control Plan that makes provision for vaccination for HPV and
HBV against cervical and liver cancers, early detection
and screening for breast, cervical, oral
and colorectal cancers;
access to essential medicines and technologies;
• and effective implementation of palliative care
Thus far, South Africa has
succeeded to make progress on:
HPV Vaccination programme for girls for between nine and twelve years since
Mach 2014 although this does not form part of the national cervical cancer
Vaccination as part of the routine childhood immunisation programme since 1995
Cancer Registration Regulation of 2011 makes provision for the compulsory
registration of all cancer cases
Cancer Alliance is working closely with the DoH and other role players to
address the following priorities for effective cancer control in SA:
National Cancer Control Plan of 1998 is outdated and has been in process of
updating since 2009.
cervical cancer screening policy has been in process of updating since 2009.
breast cancer, the highest cancer killer of South African women a breast health
policy is urgently required to ensure equitable service delivery for all women.
the cancer registration regulation the completeness of the National Cancer
Registry remains a challenge evident by the last available report of 2008. The
National Cancer Registry falls under the jurisdiction of the NHLS that is
currently experiencing huge financial and management challenges.
access to essential medicines and technologies as well as palliative care for
cancer patients across the nine provinces is not in place and often leads to
patients not receiving treatment of palliation timeously leading to unnecessary
suffering of unrelieved pain and symptoms.
Cancer stigma is well
documented and a reality on our South African communities impacting negatively
of the disease even further. People Living With Cancer a member organisation of
Cancer Alliance have launched a compelling video “Unsilenced” for World
Cancer Day on their website http://www.plwc.org.za/.
Watch: Unsilenced - A project on Cancer in South Africa
Let’s raise our collective voices in the name of improving our general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. Visit www.canceralliance.co.za to find out more information.
Stories from people living with cancer
Great reads and links on Campaigning for Cancer
Find more support by contacting Cancer Buddies on 0800 033 337 or visit www.cancerbuddies.org.za for more information on this support group.