CANSA’s Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) Programme focuses on:
- raising awareness of childhood cancers and the importance of early detection
- providing tangible loving 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.
CANSA TLC Support:
CANSA TLC strives to inform the public of the warning signs of childhood cancer to enable early diagnosis and to ensure that children are referred to Paediatric Oncology Specialists for treatment. #ChildhoodCancerAwareness #CANSAtlc
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.
Myths surrounding childhood cancer also need to be debunked to ensure that children are referred to specialists without delay.
A young cancer Survivor, Thandi* and her mom Jessica*, were being rejected by their community. Jessica said at the time: “The lack of knowledge and understanding in our village is extreme. The majority still believe that my child is contagious and can harm them.” CANSA’s TLC Staff in Kimberley stepped in to offer support and information to their community. (*Names changed to protect privacy)
CANSA TLC embraces a holistic approach to include all aspects of physical, spiritual, psychological and social well-being of parents (guardians) and children / teens, through:
- sharing cancer related information
- offering support groups / counselling
- providing terminal & grief support
- prosthetic assistance (loss of an eye or limb)
- ports (broviacs) to minimise trauma
- medical equipment / wheelchairs
- educational school programmes
- skills development
- volunteer training
- providing accommodation for parents (guardians) near treatment centres
- providing food & basic essentials parcels to families in need
- Fact Sheet: Nutritional Guidelines for Children Diagnosed with Cancer
Slide Show & PPT: Childhood Cancer Awareness | Symptoms | Myths | CANSA TLC Support
CANSA TLC Facilities:
Currently there are five CANSA TLC facilities for children / teens and parents and families affected by cancer:
CANSA TLC Support Room in Port Elizabeth – tel: 041-373 5157 (counselling to children / teens and families)
CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge on premises Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria (Dr Savage Rd, Gate 7) with 48 beds for parents / guardians. This includes the Brian Davey Step Down Unit which provides a sterile, but family friendly environment – tel: 082 073 2850
Watch video of when CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge was visited by SABC Real Talk with Anele on #MandelaDay 2017:
CANSA TLC Family Lodge in Durban, has 3 bedrooms for families – tel: 031-205 9525 (food parcels, home / hospital visits / family bereavement counselling)
CANSA TLC Paediatric Oncology Ward in Pietersburg Provincial Hospital, Polokwane, caters for 27 children and offers 20 lodging units for parents / guardians – tel: 015-297 1268
CANSA TLC Support Room in Kimberley – tel: 053-831 2968 (counselling to children / teens and families)
Do You or Your Child / Teen Need Support?
Parents in need of support are invited to join a TLC Support Group in their area (contact the nearest CANSA Care Centre), or help to establish one if one doesn’t exist.
Parents, families, and supporters can also join the ‘CANSA TLC’ Facebook group to connect with others in a similar position.
Meet some of the parents and children who have been assisted by CANSA TLC:
How Can You Support Your Friend with Cancer?
Slide Show & PPT: How to Support Your Friend who has Cancer
International Childhood Cancer Awareness month is celebrated in September each year. Gold ribbons are worn to help raise awareness worldwide.
In South Africa it is estimated that at least half of all children with cancer in South Africa are never diagnosed due to misdiagnosis or ignorance of the symptoms of childhood cancer. Read more about cancers affecting South African children…
Beyond Cancer – Model a Balanced Lifestyle to Your Child:
Childhood cancer Survivors need to continue with regular check ups. The treating specialist will offer dates for follow up visits and it is of utmost importance not to miss these appointments. Any risk for relapse or long-term side effects needs immediate attention.
After completion of treatment children / teens are able to return to school, some may take up regular activities excluding contact sport, and they can effectively reintegrate with family, friends and communities. While some children / teens may experience learning challenges or need to learn to live with a prosthesis, with the right support from educators and loved ones, the aim is to help each one to reach their personal goals and to achieve success.
It is important that they understand what they have been through, and feel empowered to take charge of their own well-being into the future. Parents can help by teaching them to:
- Adopt a balanced family lifestyle so that your child will continue to live on well into adult life
- 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 – 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 any risks they may face, at the appropriate time, so that they can identify unusual symptoms later in life – read more about Men’s Health and Women’s Health
Children / teens who have had cancer, are able to live a full, successful life. Where they may experience discrimination against them due to being a Survivor, later in life, they need to challenge this and speak out about it. There will always be ignorant people who believe myths and need to be informed of the facts.
Be a Gift to a Child in Need:
- Please make an 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.
- Donate basic items to TLC Families of young cancer patients…