Cancer survivor shares her story

Janet Govender from Belvedere is a cancer survivor and encourages people with cancer to be positive.  Photo: Andilesithole
Janet Govender from Belvedere is a cancer survivor and encourages people with cancer to be positive. Photo: Andilesithole

A TONGAAT grandmother is offering a message of hope to those who have been diagnosed­ with cancer, saying they must be optimistic and realise that the disease is not death sentence.

Janet Govender (57), from Belvedere, has conquered the disease after­ being diagnosed with bone cancer in 2014 at Victoria Hospital.

However, Govender did not let the disease get the better of her.

She told the Weekly that faith and believing in Jesus Christ is what motivated her to stay positive and live a healthy lifestyle.

“I have already started visiting schools and churches in the area­ to deliver a message of hope to people who are suffering with cancer­. My intention is to instil positive­ thoughts and change people­’s mindset that cancer is a death sentence.

“When I was diagnosed with the disease in 2014 I did not give up. I kept praying and asked God to heal me. And through my constant prayers God has answered me,” she said.

Govender said when she was first told about her disease, she burst into tears. Doctors thereafter told her they would have to amputate her leg.

“I was emotional when doctors told me my leg would have to be amputated.

“However, because I am a strong woman whose hope is in Jesus, I prayed asking God to be on my side.

“Hope and faith can do wonders­,” she said.

In 2014 the Weekly interviewed Govender shortly after the tumour was removed.

Dr Kamlesh Naicker from Mediclinic Victoria Hospital and Cape Town orthopaedic recon- structive­ expert Dr Keith Hoskings managed to save her leg and remove the tumour after a four-hour operation.

In 2015, she was given the good news that everything was clear after more scans were done.

Since then she has made it her mission to make a difference in cancer patient’s lives.

Health specialist at Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) Professor Michael Herbst said bone cancer is the uncontrolled growth of bone cells.

“There are several types of bone tumours.

“Their names are based on the area of bone or surrounding tissue that is affected and the kind of cells forming the tumour.

“Some primary bone tumours are not cancerous, others are.”

According to a statement sent to the Weekly bone cancer is a rare cancer that occurs in the bone and destroys normal tissue.

“Bone cancers are classified in three main types, based on the type of cell the cancer first affects.

“Although symptoms of bone cancer may vary between individuals, the pain is typically the most common symptom,” said Herbst.

Govender also said she is grateful to her family who supported her as she overcame the disease.


‘I have already started visiting schools and churches in the area­ to deliver a message of hope’

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