03 March 2011

Get shaving for Cansa

Want a new look? It's that time of the year again when you can shave or spray your head to show your support for cancer survivors and those affected by cancer.


Want a new look? It's that time of the year again when you can shave or spray your head to show your support for cancer survivors and those affected by cancer. 

 2011 is the year in which the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) turns 80 years old and also marks its eighth Shavathon event. 

South Africans can shave or spray in a multitude of colours and show solidarity with cancer survivors from 3 – 5 March for a R50 donation, children under 12 pay R25.

'Celebrate life'

Thursday and Friday, (3 & 4 March) are devoted to in-house events, while the Saturday 5 March is used to stage public events at shopping centres in all nine provinces.

"Shavathon is a very public demonstration of South Africa’s solidarity with cancer survivors," says Cansa's CEO and cancer survivor of 26 years, Sue Janse van Rensburg. "By shaving or colour-spraying for the event, we show support and celebrate life with cancer survivors and we remember our loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer," she explains.

“We hope that Shavathon 2011 will help to unite the nation in the fight against cancer and help raise funds so that we can continue supporting cancer survivors and those affected by cancer."

Losing one’s hair is a common side-effect of chemotherapy - so that is why shaving your head has become a symbolic gesture of support for cancer survivors. Colouring your hair has become an option for those who prefer not to shave.

'Bail-out fee'

For those who would like to be a part of the fight against cancer but cannot attend a shave or spray event on one of these days, a minimum online donation of R50 may be made by visiting the Cansa website and clicking on the bail-out fee under Shavathon.

Public Shavathons will take place at various shopping centres countrywide on Saturday, 5th March and Sunday, 6th March 2011, where there is a demand for it.

How does Shavathon at a shopping centre work?

  • After registration and payment, you move to the area where your head will be sprayed or shaved, choosing the colour/s to be sprayed or the length of the shave you want.
  • Please be aware that Cansa Shavathon will no longer do "clean shaving" due to risk factors - the lowest number for shaving is number 1.
  • Volunteers are equipped to accept hair donations - so if you would like to donate a ponytail you are welcome - they will snip it and package it for you! (Hair must be at least  22cm or longer, clean and dry).
  • Depending on the queue, this could take between 15 – 60 minutes.

Click here to find a list of your nearest participating shopping centre or visit for more info.

Have fun and please do send us your pics!

Cansa press release

- (Compiled by Birgit Ottermann, Health24, March 2011)


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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst and Head of Advocacy Magdalene Seguin. For more information, visit

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