The Cancer Relief Fund Africa has been established to provide critical financial assistance for cancer patients in their fight against cancer.
Even with Medical Aid cover, cancer is costly - devastating patients and their families - physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. There are many new medications and treatments available, but even the Medical Aids do not cover all of them.
This is why your donation to the Cancer Relief Fund Africa is so vital. Every Rand contributed will be put towards funding the life-saving interventions required by those struggling with cancer.
With your financial support, the Cancer Relief Fund Africa will be able to provide immediate financial grants to cancer patients - allowing them to focus on their fight for health. No patient should be denied the best available treatment because of a lack of finances.
I have had cancer for 11 years. I have a very rare cancer called a sacral chordoma. Eleven years ago I had surgery to remove it. It returned four years ago and I went to the USA for Cyberknife treatment. Subsequently, my doctors in the USA moved me on to targeted therapy - at a cost of R30 000 per month for 30 tablets. My Medical Aid scheme is paying for this, but many others don’t - or won’t.
Our close family friend passed away 6 months ago. He did not have Medical Aid cover. When he was eventually diagnosed, it was with stage 4 metastatic cancer. Might experimental treatment have helped him? The question is moot as, because of their prohibitive costs, the new treatments were not even an option for him. This fund has been initiated to try to ensure that such a sad scenario does not have to recur.
Our Fund Raising Goal
To help as many people as we possibly can, we need to raise R20 million a year.
Please partner with us in creating a fund to assist with medical treatments and interventions for those battling cancer.
We ask of you to give generously, to connect us with your communities, your friends, business colleagues, and any contributors who might be able to help us bring this fund into being.
Michael Bloch Perle Greenberg
18 March 2018
Information on treatments
In Judaism, human life is considered sacrosanct. According to the biblical injunction of Pikuach Nefesh, a person must do everything in his or her power to save the life of another. The tenet of Pikuach Nefesh is derived from Lev. 19:16: “Neither shall you stand by the blood of your neighbor”. This obligation applies to any life in jeopardy, whether the threat is immediate, or even if the threat has the potential to become life-threatening. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/pikuach-nefesh)
? Immunotherapy drugs
‘Immuno’ in immunotherapy refers to the immune system. Immunotherapy uses drugs that may help the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
Immunotherapy drugs: between USD 5 000 to USD 20 000 per month
? Targeted Drug Therapy
Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment that too uses drugs; however, it is different from traditional chemotherapy. The drugs used in targeted therapy prevent the cancer cells from growing and spreading. The drugs work by targeting specific mutations of genes or proteins.
Targeted Therapy drugs: between USD 3 000 to USD 15 000 per month
? CyberKnife Treatments
As yet unavailable in South Africa, this technology is the very latest in radiotherapy.
The CyberKnife System is the first and only fully robotic radiation delivery system. It treats cancerous and non-cancerous tumours and other targets with precision and accuracy. It can deliver radiation to any organ in the body.
? Cyber Knife Treatments in the USA cost between USD 60 000 to USD 200 000
? Cyber Knife Treatments in India cost between USD 10 000 to USD 20 000
Counting the cost of cancer
The majority of cancer patients in South Africa experience heavy financial strain. In some instances, bankruptcy results from the build-up of the unforeseen medical costs associated with their medical condition.
According to statistics from the National Cancer Registry (NCR), one-in-four South Africans are affected by cancer. More than 100 000 South Africans are diagnosed with cancer annually.
According to a report published in the South African Medical Journal in 2016, the cumulative costs for surgery, in-patient care, consultations and repetitive diagnostic and staging investigations have ratcheted up expenses exponentially. Most Medical Aid Societies are unable to cover many of these therapies and treatments.
The research further highlights how new-generation immunotherapy drugs such as Ipilimumab, have a price tag of R1 million - while an older drug, such as Trastuzumab costs R25 000 per treatment. A mastectomy plus Trastuzumab costs R500 000, and immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma can cost R1 million.
Source: CANSA, Discovery Health