The clinical team at South Coast Hospice stepped up on World Cancer Day to bring awareness and a much-needed service to the community on Monday.
The staff worked together as an interdisciplinary team, as they always do, to bring the necessary treatment, care and support.
Sr Dina Thorncroft, South Coast Hospice Clinical Manager and Sister Tutor, was on hand to answer questions, talk, and ensure that there was a cup of tea and biscuits. Di Christensen, the Psychological Counselor, was available to offer counseling services.
Sr Heidi Thom, a Professional Nurse with years of experience in screening, saw 20 patients in six hours, which was a remarkable achievement. Four PSA tests (for prostrate cancer), nine pap smears (for cervical cancer), 14 skin screenings (for melanomas) and 13 clinical breast examinations were carried out during the course of the day.
The skin screenings and clinical breast examinations were done at no charge while the PSA and pap smear tests were done at cost price to cover the lab fees. Six clients were referred for immediate intervention. Out of 20 people seen, 30% indicated an area of concern.
Sr Dina was very pleased with the response and regrets that for the time allocated more people could not be attended to.
“The interdisciplinary team did their best and South Coast Hospice is very proud of this initiative. The response to this clinic indicates that there is certainly a need to offer this service, provided we can raise the funding,” said South Coast Hospice CEO, Di van Dyk.
The World Cancer Day Special gave the public who attended an opportunity to see and experience the role South Coast Hospice plays, not only in caring for the terminally ill, but also in offering care and support to the community through cancer screenings.
“Our hospice is a place of hope, not hopelessness,” said Van Dyk.
Studies predict that South Africa could see an increase of 78% in the number of cancer cases by 2030. Early detection saves lives.
“Please make it your mission to not be a statistic,” said Van Dyk, echoing this year’s World Cancer Day theme – ‘I will. I can.’
A cancer screening clinic is held every Wednesday at South Coast Hospice where screenings and tests are done for a basic fee. Call 039 682 3031 to book your appointment.