Cancer Alliance Stigma Survey

Cancer stigma is a great problem in South Africa, it touches all groups, ages and genders and impacts cancer patients daily.

With our current survey we aim to gain more information and insight into the role of cancer stigma in our communities.

- Cancer Alliance Stigma Survey -

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  • Often the journey through cancer can be lonely and confusing. You need clarity and peace of mind!

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Survivor Stories

Ann Steyn | Breast Cancer

CA Breast August 22nd 1990 is a date I will remember. It was a date that changed my life; because Cancer entered that life bringing with it fear, and uncertainty – except for the certainty of change... Read more

Annamie Carstens | Non-Hodgins Limfoom (limfklierkanker)

Volgens die hospitaalrekords was ek 35 jaar en 7 maande. (Tipies vrou het ek natuurlik nie ‘n dag ouer as 27 gevoel nie!) Ek is gelukkig getroud met 2 pragtige dogters, Johané (8) en Annika (3). Ons het alles wat ‘n mens op hierdie ouderdom kan begeer... Read more

Anne Marneweck | Stage 2 Breast Cancer

I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer in August 2007at the age of 45. I discovered my lump and went straight for a mammogram and sonar (my mammogram was due in October) and off to the surgeon who gave me the devastating news. I felt like I hit a brick wall, but decided to... Read more

Carl Liebenberg | Hodgins Lymphoma

The most important support I needed after my diagnosis was to simply talk to others who understood. Read more

Chris Olivier | Kidney Cancer

Who can I talk to that will understand? After unsuccessful attempts to clear up a urinary tract infection, I was sent to an urologist, Dr Stephen Cornish, at Sunninghill Hospital. After examination and an ultrasound he booked me in for “CT scans” two days later. I had never had a CT scan and decided I... Read more

Christa Steyn | Breast Cancer

Ons musikante noem haar die musiekengel. Want of Christa Steyn begelei, komponeer, liedjies skryf en toonset, agter dié musieknaam staan – soos op eistedfoddsertifikate – ‘hoogste lof’. Sy vertel van haar drie vreemdste weke... Read more

Christine Blundell | Breast Cancer

In the 50’s the “C” word was virtually taboo so as a 6-year-old I was blissfully unaware of what being diagnosed with a melanoma meant! Very rare in anyone who had not reached puberty and aside from all the prodding and testing until the age of 18. I lived a normal and happy childhood. Being... Read more

Dan Shapiro | Brain Cancer

1991 was most certainly the best year of my life, attached with it however comes enormous irony. In that year I repeated my Matric since I devoted my initial Matric year to one subject, Computer Science.As it happened, during my Computer Science Final Exam in 1991, I experience a somewhat extreme version of a Migraine... Read more

Dave Ellis | Larynx Cancer

This Picture: (From Back Left to Right Front) Cheryl, Dave, Meghan, Chloe and Bronwyn Ellis and Shaun Goode. This Thing Called Cancer – My Story. By Dave Ellis. I have recently been through the traumatic experience of diagnoses, operations and radiation treatment for cancer of the Larynx. Even more recently I have had the... Read more

Della Silberman | Anal Canal Cancer

Della Silberman – caregiver for mother Gail. Both are very active buddies and have helped many patients. The story of a mother and daughter’s struggle with cancer It all began in January 2005. Mom had been to the GP often for the same complaint – bleeding haemorrhoids, but she never checked the area, just prescribed... Read more

Derek Aarts | Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Why cancer Buddies? I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December 2005. I remember quite clearly my initial need for information about cancer. What the prognosis was, what the treatment options were, how long would the treatment be? etc, etc. All these questions related to the technical or clinical side of the disease. I was... Read more

Eldré Strydom | Breast Cancer

I have been a Breast Cancer Survivor for 5 years. It was the month of Christmas, 15 December 2004 to be precise. I was 31 years old and running my own business when my life changed in an instant. Whilst everyone else were thinking of last minute Christmas shopping, holiday plans and how to separate... Read more

Elsje de Swardt | Breast

Cancer made me realize that I’ve got to live every day to the fullest, embrace life and all it offers, it is not only “other” people that have cancer, get divorced or are involved in accidents – this can also happen to you. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control and the best of all CELEBRATE LIFE!!!!!  Read more

Freda de Lange | Breast Cancer

After no signs of ill health I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2008. My Doctor husband, Callie, who works overseas and was in Iraq at the time, hurried home and joined my son, Carl and daughter Mirka to help me take on this challenge. I had to have a mastectomy of my left breast and five months of chemotherapy. It was at this time I decided to make a bucket list. Read more

Gail Silberman | Colon Cancer

In the blink of an eye. It was December 2004. The only time that cancer had touched our lives so far had been watching the 3-year battle my niece, Sharon, underwent with breast cancer, with metastases to her liver, bones and brain. She had chemo after chemo, lost all her hair and got so skinny... Read more

Gerhard Welack | CA Brain Astrisitoom Grade 3

Diagnosis: CA Brain Astrisitoom Grade 3 in 1998 Picture it . Goodwood, Cape Town, 1997. Christmas eve ,8pm, I’m in the local hospital in severe pain. On account of rainy weather; I had an accident with my motorcycle. I cracked my collarbone. The doctor booked me off-sick for a month for the reason that my... Read more

Giuliana (Jules) Wilson | Multiple Myeloma

When l was first diagnosed, it was very hard to swallow that l had cancer, it is always someone else who has had it. My world felt it was coming to an end.  Read more

Harry Cronje | Rectal cancer

Fortunately, I could draw strength from the unshakable love and support of my beloved Liza, my Rock of Gibraltar. We decided beforehand to see this thing through together, and despite her fears and trepidation, she stood firm. Read more

Heloise de Villiers | Breast

The word “cancer” conjures up feelings of fear, dread and anxiety – not so much always for yourself but mainly for your loved ones! How are they going to take the news? How do you make them realise that just knowing they are there with a helping hand and a hug is more than enough?  Read more

Ismail-Ian Fife | Prostate

On Monday, 21st June 2004 at 13:27, I received a call from the Urologist requesting that I come see him immediately to discuss the results. The doctor sat me down and it was then that he said to me….

“You Have Cancer”!!! That is what he said to me…..
 Read more

Jenny Heunis | Breast



My entire life has changed because of this cancer. I am stronger, calmer, more centred, my sense of humour has surfaced, I distance myself from negative people and I am more positive.
 Read more

John Fraser | Colon

I enjoy telling my story as I know that it gives hope to those recently diagnosed and are starting out on the scariest journey of their lives.
 Read more

John Payne | Prostate Cancer

Date of Birth – 6 May 1936 Prostate Cancer Having neglected to have a proper medical check-up for more than 30 years decided to undertake one before moving down to the Cape in September,1998. Result was fine except that my P.S.A. reading was 8.68. Was therefore referred to a consultant eurologist :- 17-09-98 – Biopsy.. Read more

Kate Squire-Howe | Breast

For me the journey through 2010, my year of Cancer, became the year I ceased postponing my life, my Laughter, my Joy – I realized at a fundamental level that this Life is to be Lived! Read more

Linda Greeff | Ovarian Cancer

My story of learning to live with my diagnosis of Ovarian cancer I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986 at that time I was working as a social work consultant at the Cancer Association of South Africa .I went for a routine gynecological check up and was told after ultrasound that I had a  Read more

Minnie Kriek | Kidney Cancer

28 March 2007. I can honestly say it was an ordinary day, until I went to the loo. I remember feeling quite angry, because not only was I in the throes of menopause with hot flushes and all that, but my ovaries were doing a last ditch thing with a final period. Just what I... Read more

Nicky Storm | Breast Cancer

Ek wil net baie dankie se vir die hulp wat ek van julle gekry het met ons medies wat nie vir my behandeling betaal nie Read more

Peter Hers | Melanoma

When I was younger I spent much time in the sun, resulting in numerous solar keratoses, and various excisions. In 2004 I had an amelanotic (no colour) malignant melanoma removed, and this seemed to be successful. However, in 2006 it spread to lymph nodes in the neck, which were surgically removed. I then spent a Read more

Pompie's Story |

He shared with me that he is trusting God to heal him as he has a dream to reach out to other cancer survivors and also make a difference. Read more

Rayghanah Cassiem | Breast

‘Cancer has changed me for the better,’ says Ray. ‘Before cancer I merely existed, after cancer I started living my life.  Read more

Raynolda Makhutle | Cervical Cancer

Life begins at 40! I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1998. Working as a banker at that stage, I knew nothing about cancer, except that it was a killer. I suffered from womb complications since the age of 15. When I turned 40 I decided to get a second opinion and a general check... Read more

Roger Horwood |

Most important lessons; have a strong faith in God and keep your spirits up. Read more

Shaun Watts | Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia

I was diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia) in January 1996 at the age of 36. 1996 was to be a year of change for us. In January 1996 , we returned home to Johannesburg, South Africa after a wonderful and relaxing 6 week vacation in New Zealand. Earlier the previous year, we had successfully... Read more

Susan Elder | Pancreas

In August 2008, I was playing tennis with Rob, my husband. I told him that I was not feeling well and had to lie down for a while. An hour later, I looked yellow and jaundiced.
That was the beginning of the nightmare.
 Read more

Themba Nyandeni |

I’m proud to say I am a survivor after 20 years I am still alive and healthy. I live strong !
 Read more

Torsten Koehler | Testicular

I’m alive! And definitely kicked cancer in the butt! Check your nuts and don’t die of embarrassment! Read more

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