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Online Support to Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

Afrikaanse Media Vrystelling

CANSA launches its iSurvivor Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) email support programme as part of breast cancer awareness month in October. In addition to existing online support offerings and ground level support programmes for cancer patients, this programme is aimed at assisting and helping mostly MBC patients with their experienced challenges. View infographics…

Gerda Strauss, CANSA’s Head of Service says, “MBC cancer patients’ long-term diagnosis means that they live with many side effects and challenges daily. The limitations of their condition don’t always allow them to attend face-to-face support groups and so it’s important to offer something meaningful and helpful online. With the help of experts and MBC patients, CANSA’s existing iSurvivor email support programme was re-written with a focus on the needs of MBC patients. Patients will receive weekly emails over 16 weeks helping to guide and support them with regards to coping.”

“Novartis is proud to collaborate and partner with CANSA on this wonderful initiative to support Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients during their journey. This digital patient support initiative, using email as the communication channel, is an excellent enhancement of CANSA’s support offerings. Especially during these times, it allows patients to gain support without risking harmful exposure,” stated Dr Gary Sopher, Medical Director Oncology, Novartis South Africa.

Health experts and patients living with MBC were consulted and involved in the process to produce the final programme. Some women living with MBC share their views below.

Rianda van Wyngaard, shares, “There is a need for information which Google does not fill. This journey is new and scary for us and we need all the help we can get. I would encourage any MBC patient that has just been diagnosed to sign up and take advantage of this wonderful programme.”

Lizbe Schaanick, adds “Support from someone in the same situation as yourself, is the best support anyone can have. We put a lot of love and care into this programme, we know it can make a difference.”

Rayghanah Cassim, states, “MBC patients should empower themselves and this programme is an ideal tool to get informed and educated. A problem shared is a problem halved.”

“When we hear positive stories from cancer ‘survivors’, it tends to be people who ‘beat’ this a while ago and can stand in front of us today and tell us: ‘There is hope, I’m ‘cured’. You can be too.’ We don’t often hear from the ‘invisible’ patients who don’t always look sick, but who are considered terminal. So we have created this programme to bring hope and inspiration to them in the midst of this. We want to show those unlucky enough to not be diagnosed at an early stage / who progressed from early stage to MBC that there is still hope, there is still life – even after an advanced stage 4 metastatic breast cancer (MBC) diagnosis!” concludes Mari Bezuidenhout.


MBC patients can sign up for the support programme here and please share with any other patients who can benefit. Please also join CANSA for the MBC Roundtable, 28 October 2020 at 6pm. Watch LIVE on our Facebook page to hear insights and about MBC from patients and medical professionals as guests.

“We thank Pamela Randall, Rianda van Wyngaard, Rayghanah Cassim, Washiela Rawoot, Lisbe Schaanick, Mari Bezuidenhout and Sandra Janeiro-Nienaber (RIP) for taking the time to help other MBC patients, despite the challenges they experience day to day. CANSA is also thankful to Novartis for believing in this programme and for helping us to make it a reality,” said Strauss.

(For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.)

CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We offer a Tele Counselling service in seven languages free of charge. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 8 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

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