The responsibility rests with patients to contact CANSA for assistance. Read more...

Support is At the End of a Telephone Call

14 July 2022CANSA is committed to protecting the rights of cancer patients and caregivers, having established a free Tele Counselling service (available in seven languages), two years ago in commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July).  CANSA recognises commitment to human rights and that all affected by cancer are entitled to psycho-social support.

#CANSATeleCounselling #ConnectWithHope #MandelaDay

Gerda Strauss, CANSA’s Head of Service shares some background, “When Madiba was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001, his office reached out to us and he benefitted from our support. We’d like to be there for more patients and loved ones, as we celebrate the second anniversary of the formation of our CANSA Tele Counselling service. COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns magnified the isolation of cancer patients and loved ones, as face-to-face support was limited, and we felt frustrated that we could not be there for them. These unprecedented circumstances accelerated the launch of the service in 2020, and it’s been a tremendous success to date, enabling patients who live far from our Care Centres to also access support in their language of choice, during business hours. It has greatly complemented the face-to-face psycho-social support we have provided since the establishment of CANSA in 1931.”

“Since its inception in 2020, CANSA’s professional, trained counsellors have assisted nearly 400 patients, caregivers or loved ones affected by cancer, through this service. CANSA Tele Counselling is free and allows us to reach people throughout the country, regardless of where they live, what language they speak, their state of health or financial situation. Most of our clients over the last two years have been newly diagnosed cancer patients who haven’t received any other form of support and have no one to turn to. Our counsellors start this journey with them, helping them and caregivers cope. Many patients have formed special relationships with our counsellors and have continued to have regular follow up appointments,” added Strauss.

One of the recent clients shared his counselling experience: “It was extremely helpful, and I would have not been able to process my grief without it. I found my counsellor to be a very focused listener, engaging with subtlety and an open mind that I have rarely experienced. Very competent in understanding my case and allowing me to feel free to share my story and feel understood on my path. Kindness and compassion, but also guidance and straightforwardness that brought to my sessions a balance that created a space of trust where I could speak openly without ever feeling any judgment and always feeling supported! It was for me a deeply healing process and experience.”

Get In Touch

CANSA Tele Counselling provides confidential, professional, cancer-related telephonic counselling to cancer patients, caregivers and their families and parents or guardians of children living with cancer. Counselling is available in seven languages (English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho, and Setswana) and is free of charge. CANSA Tele Counselling can be accessed via the CANSA Help Desk on 0800 22 66 22 toll-free to make an appointment with a CANSA counsellor. Or send an email to .

CANSA’s service to cancer patients also includes stoma clinics offering support regarding products, emotional support and advice and a free Tele Stoma support service; and online support groups and resources for patients, caregivers and loved ones. Accommodation is offered to patients living far from treatment centres through Care Homes and to parents whose children are receiving treatment through TLC Lodges.

“Cancer patients need more than surgical and other physical treatment. They also need mental and emotional support. And in many cases where patients are struggling financially, something as simple as a care pack goes a long way. Please consider donating your skills, resources, time or funds in service of CANSA this Mandela Day or throughout the year – see our Wish List,” concluded Strauss.

Note: The responsibility rests with patients to contact CANSA for assistance. Read more…

(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.

Queries CANSA

 0800 22 6622 Toll Free
 072 197 9305 English and Afrikaans (text only)
 071 867 3530 isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi (text only)
 CANSA Care Centres


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CANSA Tele Counselling

 0800 22 6622 Toll Free
 072 197 9305 English and Afrikaans (text only)
 071 867 3530 isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi (text only)


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