Putting the Care in CANSA Care Month
25 July 2023 – CANSA celebrates CANSA Care Month in August to highlight its service offerings, that provide practical and psychosocial care and support to help manage the physical and emotional impact that cancer has on cancer survivors (patients and those in remission), their loved ones and caregivers.
Gerda Strauss, Head of Services at CANSA, explains, “CANSA is dedicated to supporting those affected by cancer, in their communities, because we want to ensure that they don’t have to face this alone and that they are given knowledge and resources to be able to cope while living with cancer.”
“We’re thrilled to announce our wonderful new initiative, CANSA Information and Support Desks, at public hospitals. Run by staff and trained volunteers, we provide information to patients and help them with referrals to support groups, Tele Counselling, clinical counselling and other services,” Strauss adds.
CANSA currently has an Information and Support Desk at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital (Johannesburg), at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Academic Hospital in Durban and at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria. Further approval has been received to have more at Klerksdorp Hospital and Universitas Hospital (Free State) and they hope to expand this service to other parts of the country soon.
CANSA also developed a series of ‘Coping with Cancer’ posters, sponsored by Pfizer, which will soon be distributed at the CANSA Information and Support Desks, public hospital oncology wards, public clinics and CANSA Care Centres across South Africa. They are available in English | Afrikaans | seSotho seTswana | isiXhosa | isiZulu.
The posters provide information about managing the side effects of treatment, adjusting to life after treatment, common emotions experienced by cancer patients, pain management, the impact of cancer treatment on intimacy and how to protect the immune system.
Dr Duvern Ramiah, Clinical and Academic Head of Department: Radiation Oncology at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, says “CANSA is providing an amazing service to the Radiation Oncology patients at Charlotte Maxeke. Their information and support desk at the unit provides our patients with much needed practical material and psychological support to manage the physical and mental toll which both the cancer and the treatment takes.”
“We continue to offer free emotional support to patients, caregivers and loved ones in the form of a Tele Counselling service (available in 7 languages), a variety of support groups and Facebook support groups. Free online support resources are also available from the CANSA website,” describes Strauss.
CANSA’s clinical specialist nurses continue to offer free advice to patients and caregivers regarding side effects of types of cancer, treatment, nutrition, pain management and palliative care. They also arrange Tele Stoma consultations for patients battling to adjust to having a stoma or dealing with stoma related difficulties and stoma products are available to patients through their Stoma Clinics.
Certain CANSA Care Centres provide services such as medical equipment hire, breast prostheses and bras, lymphoedema garments, wigs and headwear, and incontinence support and the national CANSA Help Desk provides online support via the toll-free line, 0800 22 66 22, email; email@example.com and multi-lingual WhatsApp lines; 072 197 9305 for English and Afrikaans and 071 867 3530 for isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho and Setswana.
(For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email firstname.lastname@example.org – 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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