Children, Youth & Reducing Cancer Risk
CANSA aims to reinforce the importance of taking up positive lifestyle behaviours during childhood, resulting in our SA Youth embracing a balanced lifestyle throughout their lives.
This will help to reduce their risk for cancer and other lifestyle related diseases, later in life.
CANSA’s programmes to reduce cancer risk have a definite Youth focus, promoting the likelihood of healthier future generations, who are able to exercise smart choices.
By hosting educational events and repeating health messages from early childhood, CANSA is contributing towards a future generation of health conscious, well informed adults and parents.
Adults Need to Lead by Example
Our children are our future and our hope – parents or guardians also need to help make them ‘cancer smart’.
Find info re reducing cancer risk below & share with your children / teens:
- Healthy eating, drinking, weight & importance exercise
- Dangers of alcohol
- Dangers of smoking & hookah
- Being SunSmart
- Dangers of sunbeds & sunless tanning products
- The importance of regular screening & knowing the warning signs of cancer
- Value of vaccinations to reduce HPV strains (reduce cervical cancer risk) & Hepatitus strains (reduce liver cancer risk) – read Position Statement Vaccines & Vaccinations
Read more about the SA National Department of Health’s Human Papilloma Vaccination programme in schools below…
How Schools Vaccination Programme Works:
As persistent infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) may lead to cervical cancer, CANSA encourages all girls / women in the age group of 9-26 years (provided they are not sexually active) to get the HPV vaccine. Boys can also receive the vaccination.
The government is currently running the National Department of Health (DoH) HPV Vaccination Programme in all public schools, including former Model C, around South Africa, providing all grade four (9 to 10-year old girls) with the opportunity to receive the HPV vaccination.
The DoH also provides an implementation guide to the schools, giving educators the necessary information regarding the vaccination and reducing the cancer risk – see DoH FAQ’s re Vaccination Programme…
CANSA is grateful to the DoH for offering free HPV vaccinations to South African girls. As the leading force in cancer control in South Africa, CANSA is proud to stand with the government in educating all young women about the dangers of HPV and cervical cancer, and offer an opportunity to take their health in their own hands as cervical cancer can be effectively treated if detected and diagnosed early.
CANSA Teaches Youth to Exercise Smart Choices
CANSA’s educational health programmes for the Youth include a Schools Programme, presented to thousands of learners in primary and high schools each month, countrywide.
Youth groups, special Youth events and festivals are also opportunities CANSA uses to reach out to the Youth.
A life-size Tap-Tap | Toktokkie is available for shows at primary schools & promotes a balanced lifestyle in order to reduce cancer risk.
To organise a visit to your school contact your local CANSA Care Centre.
Supporting Youth and Families Affected by Cancer
CANSA’s Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) programme provides support and care to:
- children & teens diagnosed with cancer and
- support to children & teens affected by cancer (who have a family member diagnosed with cancer)
- support to parents, guardians and family members where a child has cancer
Most children diagnosed with cancer are treated at specialised Paediatric Oncology Units (cancer treatment centres for children). Families who stay too far away must often face the heart wrenching reality of entrusting their very ill children to the care of hospital staff, whilst they undergo cancer treatment. Finding accommodation close to treatment centres can also prove costly, as periods of cancer treatment can be lengthy.
CANSA TLC has endeavoured to support these families by opening the CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge in Pretoria, for children receiving treatment at Steve Biko Hospital and a TLC Paediatric Oncology Ward at the Pietersburg Provincial Hospital in Polokwane. A family member may move in for the duration of the child’s treatment. These family members are also empowered with skills development training.
The programme also strives to create awareness and educate parents regarding the early warning signs of childhood cancer, as many children are either misdiagnosed or their condition remains undetected.
Click here for more information regarding the TLC programme and the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers.
Has Cancer Touched Your Life?
Cancer affects one in four South Africans, through diagnosis of family, friends, colleagues or self.
We want you to know that you are not alone and that we would like to support you and your loved ones, regardless of how cancer has touched your life.
Find info & online resources to help you fight cancer and please read more about CANSA’s Holistic Care & Support which is offered at our CANSA Care Centres countrywide.