People Living with Cancer: metastatic cancer breakfast

Yesterday 25th July, PLWC hosted their annual breakfast dedicated to the needs of people living with metastatic cnacer.  The chosen venue was Simons Resaturant on Groot Constantia wine estate.

Dr Marc Maurel

Dr Marc Maurel, an oncologist from Rondebosch GVI oncology centre spoke first.  He lauded a multidisciplinary approach when planning the management for any person with cancer.  Everyone is an individual with unique needs. The goal of any management is to prolong quality life and he stressed that the symptoms from the treatment should not be worse than the symptoms from the disease.  Having talked about the role of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy and targeted therapy, he spoke about immunotherapy.  Immunotherapy stimulates the body to react.  Already in use - for the  management of melanoma-  trials are ongoing looking at its usefulness in managing advanced breast cancer.

Hanne Muller and Jayme van Tonder: Slow Jack
A delicious breakfast and delightful entertainment from Slow Jack followed,  then Dr Lynn Edwards photo voice project.  This project, run by cancer buddies, asks cancer survivors to choose a photo that best depicts their journey of living with cancer. It is excellent, show casing benefits of descriptive research. It is national in scope and will assist campaigns for advocacy.

In terms of methodology - focus groups are asked specific "quality of life" questions.  Lynn's talk investigated sexual problems experienced by people living with cancer. Responses she received:
"live until I die by choice instead of dying all the while that I am living.."
"lost identity, invisible"
"Refocus on the important things: nature and family"
"Having cancer is like climbing stairs"
"People think you are busy dying not busy living"

When asked what approaches they found helpful:
"holistic approach"
"encourage conversation"

Linda led a discussion on how women coped and that will form the subject of my next blog.

In summing up, Dr Marc Maurel said medical people get most of our information from journals.  It is really important for us to get our information from our patients as well.

Well done Linda for organising such an excellent morning!

Linda Greef and Lynn Edwards


  1. I am so proud of you! you doing a great work. The cancer patients and survivors are real heroes and they need to be given all the freedom and equal sights to the life.

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