Women in Action (WiA) held a childhood cancer awareness conference at the Cenacle of the Holy Spirit in Park Station, on Saturday, 25th June. The aim of the conference was to educate people about child cancer and the importance of early detection.
Opening the conference, Bev du Toit founder of an organisation named “Lets talk about cancer”, who is also a cancer survivor, said that about 500- 600 children will be diagnosed with cancer in South Africa while about 500 children will die before being diagnosed.
“Cancer is not one but three hundred different diseases and it begins with changes in body cells. Cancer is a deformation on certain cells and it can only be treated by doctors. The immune system protects the body and the more fruits and vegetables a person eats the better the immune system as it is strengthened. Though cancer is mostly found in older people, men and women, it doesn’t mean children don’t get it. Unlike the adult cancer, children often respond well to treatment. The earlier a child is diagnosed the easier the treatment and better the chance of survival. The goal of any type of cancer treatment is to cure the child. In childhood cancer there is a 90% cure rate and the most important key is early diagnosis,” she explained.
She also spoke of the different symptoms of child cancer, side effects and the treatment needed for all the different types of childhood cancer. The symptoms range from nausea, fever, soar throat, vomiting, drowsiness, sweating, problem with balance, lumps, the unexplained in the body.
Bev also emphasised the importance of doing regular check-ups especially in the case where family members had died from cancer and the importance of knowing the type of cancer they died from as only 10% are hereditary. Remaining 90% is environmental.
Women in Action believe that knowledge is power and it has changed people’s lives through different projects such as “save a Tamar” and others. “Fear and not being aware of what is happening will not bring cure. We need to understand how our bodies and of our children’s bodies work, said Mrs Marcia, the founder of WiA. WiA dedicated two weeks to raise funds as their pledge of support to the LTAC. Mrs Marcia handed the proceeds of R6000 to Bev du Toit to extend it’s cancer awareness campaigns.