Support for Children, Youth & Families Affected by Cancer
CANSA’s TLC Programme focuses on raising awareness of childhood cancers and early detection, as well as providing tangible love, care and support to youth and families affected by cancer.
Children and teens diagnosed with cancer or affected by cancer (a family member has cancer) are supported, as we believe no child or family should have to face cancer on their own.
About Children’s Cancers
It is estimated that at least half of all children with cancer in South Africa are never diagnosed. This is due to a lack of knowledge regarding the disease amongst children and as a result many children are diagnosed too late, when the cancer is already in an advanced stage, thus diminishing the possibility of successful treatment.
Public awareness re the symptoms of Childhood Cancer is vital. If the cancer is detected early, then chances of surviving Childhood Cancer may be as high as 77%.
Currently, between 800 to a 1 000 children are diagnosed with cancer annually. However, many more children & teens do get cancer, but are not diagnosed and pass away.
Read more about cancers affecting South African children here:
Children’s cancers are often placed in the same category as adult cancers. However, it is important to note that there is a vast difference between Childhood cancers and Adult cancers, because children are still subject to growth spurts within a short period of time, which may result in the cancer spreading faster and more aggressively.
This implies that treatment or advice that may work for adults, will not necessarily work for children. Treatment causes a suppressed immunity in children with cancer that may also lead to long periods of absence from school.
The causes of cancer in adults are also usually attributable to lifestyle choices, whereas in children, genetic and environmental factors play a dominant role.
It is also important to note that:
- cancer is NOT contagious or infectious
- cancer is not necessarily terminal
CANSA TLC strives to inform the public and to refer children to the correct specialists for treatment. Paediatric Oncology Specialists have specialised in children’s cancers and they are equipped to make a diagnosis and to recommend a treatment strategy.
An incorrect diagnosis by someone less knowledgeable, can allow the cancer time to build up resistance to treatment. The quicker a child is diagnosed correctly, the better his or her chance of survival.
International Childhood Cancer Awareness month is celebrated in September each year. Gold ribbons are worn to help raise awareness worldwide.
How can TLC help you?
- Parents in need of support are invited to join a TLC Support Group in their area, or to help establish one if there isn’t yet one. For more information regarding this, contact Vera van Dalen at firstname.lastname@example.org – Stories of HOPE may also be shared via this email address.
- The CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria is a facility for parents whose children are undergoing treatment. We have now opened a CANSA TLC Paediatric Oncology Ward at the Pietersburg Provincial Hospital in Polokwane.
- A TLC venue for Family Accommodation is available in Durban…
- We have also launched TLC Support Rooms at our CANSA Kimberley Care Centre & CANSA Port Elizabeth Care Centre.
- Parents can also join the TLC Facebook group in order to share with others in a similar position.
- Alternately, contact your nearest CANSA Care Centre to find out regarding TLC in your area, or call the Toll-Free Call Centre at 0800 22 66 22
Be a Gift to a Child in Need:
- Please consider making a online donation towards supporting our TLC Programme, so that we can help more children and families. Donations will assist with the provision of prosthetic support (children who have lost an eye or limb); the provision of wheelchairs; pain control implants and medical equipment.
- Broviac Implants make treatment for young cancer patients a little easier to bear…
- Donate basic items to TLC Families of young cancer patients…
Model a Balanced Lifestyle to Your Child:
- Adopt a balanced family lifestyle that your child will adopt as an adult
- Demonstrate SunSmart behaviour to your child
- Give your child the right to a smoke-free world – 2nd and 3rd hand smoke is also harmful!
- Avoid known carcinogens in the environment and help your child to identify these
- Vaccinate against HPV to reduce risk of cervical cancer & Hepatitus strains to reduce risk for liver cancer
- Teach your child about his or her body at the appropriate time so that he or she can identify unusual symptoms later in life – read more about Men’s Health and Women’s Health