Maximising the quality of life this World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day and the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is emphasising that cancer is “not beyond us” in terms of cancer control and reducing the impact of the disease.


Elize Joubert, CANSA’s Acting CEO says “World Cancer Day is important because the global cancer epidemic is huge and set to rise.  Currently 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year – in South Africa, more than 100 000 are diagnosed annually.  This day helps us spread the word and raise the profile of cancer”.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) more than twice as many people die from cancer than from Aids, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. The WHO projects that without immediate action, the global number of deaths from cancer will increase by nearly 80% by 2030, with most occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

Taking place under the tagline ‘Not beyond us’, World Cancer Day focuses on taking a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer, highlighting that solutions do exist regarding cancer care and early detection and that they are within reach.

As part of World Cancer Day, CANSA is hosting Open Days at its 30 CANSA Care Centres countrywide inviting communities, workplaces and the media to visit and find out more about our care and support programmes.

“We want to ensure fewer people develop cancer and that cancer survivors are successfully treated and offered care, support, guidance and advice to all those affected by cancer to ensure a better quality of life. We
know that cancer can have a serious impact on a person’s emotional, physical and mental state – so by understanding and responding to that impact – the quality of life for patients, their loved ones and caregivers can be maximised,” Joubert added.

CANSA provides comprehensive care and support programmes for cancer patients and their families, to help them find the best care solution and advice on managing side effects of treatment, be it physical, emotional and / or spiritual.

Joubert states, “Take part in our Open Days and find out more about how we work towards a cancer-free world. Many of our CANSA Care Centre teams also provide early detection screening programmes to help reduce the cancer risk, while our nine Mobile Health Clinics provide screening and early detection programmes in remote areas.”

She concluded, “For many people facing a cancer diagnosis, it’s the toughest fight of their lives. Maintaining social support networks and talking about cancer is important for both the person living with cancer and their caregiver.  So we encourage cancer survivors to join our ‘iSurvivor’ e-online support programme. It’s a free, e-mail based programme written by a cancer survivor to help other survivors cope better. It’s a manageable guide with all the helpful resources available such as health information, where the nearest CANSA Care Centre is, how to lead a balanced lifestyle, how to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer and where to find counselling and support.”

For more info visit or contact CANSA toll-free 0800226622 or at [email protected] as email address. Follow CANSA on Twitter: @CANSA (, Instagram ( and join CANSA on Facebook: CANSA The Cancer Association of South Africa.

Thumbs up on national cancer control plan inclusivity

Thumbs up to the NCDs cluster of the National Department of Health (NDoH) for its responsiveness to stakeholder recommendations. The draft cancer plan, National Plan for the Prevention and Control of Cancer 2015 – 2020 (NCCP) is being reviewed by multisector – all of society stakeholder meeting early next month. Click here to review this draft.

Feedback from stakeholders on the 2014 a draft NCCP made it clear that more consultation was needed. The initial stakeholder meeting to its content (organisational structure) and process of development (planning process) in Pretoria on 6 February 2015.

The aims of the meeting include:

  • Identifying priorities in cancer prevention and control;
  • Setting goals and objectives;
  • Setting strategies for intervention;
  • Setting processes and timelines to achieve a final draft.


Professor Melvyn Freeman and the cluster team are to be congratulated on the transparent and inclusive step. The 1999 NCCP needs urgent revision to provide an integrated, comprehensive people-centered plan for South Africa. The new plan must take into account:

  • changing demographic and epidemiological trends
  • global and national targets
  • the health and developmental agendas.

For more information contact Elmie Engelbrecht at [email protected]

Click here to download the revised draft outline for consideration.