05 February 2018

7 stories to read this World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day aims to raise awareness about cancer. Here are seven stories you should read.

Every year, 4 February marks World Cancer Day. The aim of the day is to raise awareness about cancer – to prevent millions of unnecessary deaths every year.

Currently, globally about 8.8 million people die annually from cancer – four million of whom die prematurely (age 30 to 69). 

Here are seven cancer survivor stories you should read on World Cancer Day.

‘My brother lives inside me’

Ten years ago Ray Funnell was diagnosed with leukaemia. Once he’d beaten the cancer, he decided he was going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Ray shares his story.

Ray Funnell survived leukaemia

‘I’m grateful my husband pushed me to have a mammogram’

Ruth Melim was diagnosed with stage 1A breast cancer in December 2016. Fortunately it was caught early after her husband pushed her to have a mammogram.

Ruth Melin, cancer, survivor, breast cancer, mammo

‘What cancer taught me’

The diagnosis of cancer is not easy to digest. However, David Scott, a cancer survivor, learned a lot from the experience.

David Scott, cancer, survivor

'My donor is my biggest hero'

After beating cancer not once but twice, 28-year-old Simone van Kraayenburg is currently working on her autobiography.

Simone van Kraayenburg, cancer, survivor, donor

'Cancer is sneaky'

Cancer is a subversive disease that sneaks through your body and spreads propaganda to anyone who’ll listen. I know – my own cells were subverted. Cancer survivor Paddy Hartdegen shares his story.

Paddy Hartdegen, cancer, survivor

'Cancer touches the lives of everyone around you'

Linda Greeff was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 32. She shares how her role as an oncology social worker helped prepare her for her own journey.

Linda Greeff, cancer, survivor

'I didn’t expect my health to return so quickly'

I realised pretty soon after my diagnosis with non-Hodgkins lympoma that a part of dealing with cancer is knowing there will be good days along with the bad ones, says TV presenter Xylon van Eyck.

Paddy Hartdegen, cancer, survivor

Do you have a story to share? Email Mandy Freeman at and get in touch. 

Image credits: Supplied


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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. For more information, visit

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