CANSA and Netcare join hands to establish cancer support groups

Cancer support groups established at nine Netcare hospitals

Wednesday, February 5 2020

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and Netcare today announced that the two organisations have partnered to establish cancer support groups at nine of the private healthcare group’s hospitals.

These support groups will be open to all persons impacted by cancer, from newly diagnosed individuals starting their cancer treatment journey to cancer survivors, even those who have been in remission for years, as well as family members and caregivers.

“CANSA has support groups across South Africa situated in diverse communities, aiming to support cancer patients and their loved ones over the widest geographic range,” says Cara Noble, national relationship manager for service delivery at CANSA.

“Partnering with Netcare and more specifically with Netcare Cancer Care (one of the largest private providers of oncology services in the country), was a no-brainer. Our shared passion for prioritising patients and offering a holistic model of care and support to cancer patients on their cancer journey made entering into this partnership an easy decision,” Noble added.

 Pic: Pictured at Netcare Parklands Hospital, one of the Netcare facilities that will host cancer support groups, are from left: Sphe Mabaso, CANSA Durban Care Centre social worker; Linda Cipolla, CANSA Mkhuhla Care home co-ordinator; Rowan Robinson, Netcare Cancer Care navigation lead; Cyril Mthimkhulu, Netcare clinical nurse navigator; and Premi Samlal, CANSA Mkhuhla Care Home caregiver.

“Netcare is privileged to be a part of this worthy initiative which resonates with our focus on person centred health and care, and our holistic and participatory approach to cancer care. We believe that it is important to provide individuals with cancer and their loved ones with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make more informed decisions about their health and care, so that they can become participants in their healthcare journey,” says Rowan Robinson, cancer care navigator lead at Netcare Cancer Care.

According to Robinson, the value of support groups and the impact they have on the lives of those attending is undeniable. “Support groups is one of the ways in which we can empower, enlighten and educate individuals when they need it the most. They also provide a much needed platform where people who are facing similar challenges, fears and treatment side effects can share practical advice and a compassionate ear, and also celebrate ‘victories’ when they are told that their cancer is in remission, giving hope to others who are still on their journey, ” she explains.

The nine Netcare hospitals, situated across five provinces, that will host the support groups are Netcare Clinton, Netcare Milpark and Netcare Pinehaven  hospitals in Gauteng; Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in the Western Cape;  Netcare Parklands, Netcare St Anne’s and Netcare uMhlanga hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal; Netcare Greenacres Hospital in the Eastern Cape; and Netcare Pholoso Hospital in Limpopo.

The support groups will take place on a monthly basis starting in February. They will be hosted by Netcare and facilitated by CANSA’s experienced service delivery staff. Different topics of interest to persons affected by cancer will be covered by experts in their fields in the monthly meetings, and there will be opportunity for those attending to socialise, share their experiences with, and offer support to, one another.

For more information regarding the support groups, email Rowan Robinson, cancer care navigator lead at Netcare Cancer Care, on [email protected]. And Cara Noble, CANSA’s national relationship manager - service delivery on [email protected] or call 083 784 5596.


The Netcare Group is a leading provider of private healthcare services in South Africa. The Group provide acute services across our national network of Netcare hospitals and are the market leader in acute mental health services through the Akeso network. We also provide emergency medical services through Netcare 911, oncology services through Netcare Cancer Care, primary care through Medicross and renal care services through National Renal Care (NRC), as well as occupational health and wellness services through Netcare Occupational Health.

CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.  Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support and organisational management; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support.  We also supply patient care and support in the form of 12 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.