September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

In the month of September, we raise awareness of childhood cancer, highlight the many challenges faced by children and their families, and promote efforts to find better treatments and ultimately cures for paediatric cancers. According to statistics found on the CANSA website, currently between 800 to a 1000 South African children are diagnosed with cancer annually. However, it’s estimated that half of the children with cancer in South Africa, are never diagnosed.

Children with cancer and their families should be offered palliative care from the time of diagnosis of the illness yet the misunderstanding still persists that palliative care is only for the end of life. Palliative care aims to improve quality of life and provides holistic care that not only addresses physical pain and symptoms but also the spiritual, social and emotional pain of the child. The sooner the child and family are referred for palliative care the better! You can access our map of services to see where children’s pallaitive care is offered in South Africa.

This Childhood Cancer month, PatchSA wishes to highlight the following five important points relevant to childhood cancer and palliative care:

Learn more about palliative care for children

Our Patch Academy online courses will provide deep insight into all aspects of providing holistic care for children who have cancer and how to support members of their family. Some of the relevant courses found on the online learning platform include:

  • Introducing Children’s Palliative Care
  • Assessing and Managing Children’s Pain
  • Symptom Management in Children’s Palliative Care
  • Holistic Assessment and Palliative Care Planning
  • Ethics and Decision Making in Children’s Palliative Care
  • Psychosocial Support in Children’s Palliative Care
  • Cultural Competency and Spiritual Care in Children’s Palliative Care

Organisations supporting children with cancer

South Africa organisations supporting children and their families with cancer include:

  1. CHOC
  2. CANSA