The iconic Table Mountain will light up in gold on Tuesday, October 6 from 8-9pm for the fighters, survivors and those who have passed away from childhood cancer.

Gold is the colour of choice because the international awareness symbol for Childhood Cancer is the gold ribbon. This ribbon symbolises all forms of cancer affecting children and adolescents, unlike other ribbons, which focus on one particular cancer.

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the five most prevalent childhood cancers in South Africa are:

– Leukaemia

– Lymphoma (tumours that begin in the lymph glands)

– Brain tumours

– Nephroblastomas or Wilms tumours – cancer of the kidneys

– Soft tissue sarcomas (tumours that begin in the connective tissue)

CANSA has been spearheading the fight against cancer in South Africa since 1931. The purpose of the organisation has been to offer the public an integrated and unique service to all who have been affected by cancer.

According to CANSA’s website, around half of the children in South Africa who have cancer are never diagnosed.

“Currently, between 800 to a 1 000 SA children are diagnosed with cancer annually. However, it’s estimated that half of the children with cancer in South Africa, are never diagnosed. This is due to a lack of knowledge regarding the disease and how it presents in children. As a result, many children are diagnosed too late, when the cancer is already in an advanced stage, thus diminishing the possibility of successful treatment.

“Cancer stigma and myths are rife, especially among certain local ethnic groups. These result in not wanting to acknowledge that a child may have cancer, because of the risk of being shunned or believing that cancer treatment won’t be effective, because the cause is not medical, but supernatural. Myths surrounding childhood cancer need to be debunked to ensure that children are referred to specialists without delay.

“Public awareness of the warning signs of childhood cancer is vital.”

Photographers and creatives alike are invited to document the evening as a symbol of support for those who have been affected by childhood cancer.

Image: Imogen Searra

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