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Cancer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

If you have just been diagnosed with cancer, you most likely have a lot of questions.

We are here to help you answer some of those questions and to make your journey less overwhelming and stressful. If we have not given you the information you need in the below cancer FAQs, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also encourage all our patients to lean on the support offered by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).

  • Bring your histology report
    This report analyses the tissue samples from the tumour(s) that were taken at your biopsies or surgical procedures.
  • Bring your radiology tests
    These are tests that have been taken to produce images of the tumour(s). The images may be on disc or on film. Examples include x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans and bone scans.
  • Bring your medical summary
    This is a description written by your doctor detailing your condition and general medical history, as well as the treatment you have received.
  • Bring a list of your medication
    Please be sure to bring a list of all medications that you take, including those prescribed by doctors and those that you buy over the counter (vitamins or herbal products). If you are unable to do so, please bring the labelled bottles or boxes with you to your consultation.
  • Bring your medical aid details
    We will need to know your medical aid name as well as who is the main member, which option you are on, and the membership number. We will also require proof of membership, so please be sure to bring your membership card or a letter from the scheme. This helps with authorisation checks and submission of your treatment plan at appropriate stages.
  • Bringing written questions that you’ve thought of before the visit.
  • Bringing paper and a pen
    so you can take notes during your appointment.
  • Arranging for a friend or family member to come with you.
    You will receive a lot of information during the appointment and it’ll be helpful to have someone else with you to listen and take notes.

Yes it will cover the prescribed minimum benefits and more depending on the plan

It is advisable because sometimes cancer treatment can be very expensive.

It’s a type of cancer treatment that uses beams of intense energy to kill cancer cells most often x rays

Depends if it is radical or palliative, it can span from 1 week to 9 weeks

Yes, unless you experience severe adverse effects

They are different for everyone. It depends on the type of radiation you get, how much, which part of the body that gets treatment and how healthy you are. Common ones are fatigue and skin reactions.

Use mild soaps and lotions or none, don’t scrub or rub your skin, no tight clothing and protect your skin from the sun

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to stop growth or kill cancer cells. It can be given intravenously i.e via a drip, orally, injection

Yes, you can eat just avoid fatty foods

Support is very vital so we encourage it

You must take blood so that we can check if there are any abnormalities that need to be corrected

You need to relax, be in the right frame of mind and let us take care of you

Our primary goal is to achieve that but also the patient’s response to treatment plays a vital role

It depends on the stage of the disease and the type of cancer as some are more aggressive than others.

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