Xolani opens up about cancer diagnosis

2017-11-28 09:50
Xolani Gwala
Xolani Gwala (Photo: Supplied)

THE country has been in tenterhooks since Talk Radio 702’s breakfast presenter, Xolani Gwala, revealed live on air that he has been diagnosed with colon cancer. This comes after he spent several weeks off air. He made the announcement during an in-studio interview with his fellow colleague, Stephen Grootes, where he also expressed his concern at the lack of state cancer facilities in the country as the disease is affecting a lot of people.


Xolani explained that the diagnosis took him by surprise as he was doing fine until he went to see a doctor about a fever he had. “It was so sudden. In April, I was running the London Marathon and before that, I was doing a couple of marathons around here. There was absolutely nothing wrong and then suddenly you go to the doctor because you have a fever and they do one or two tests and say ‘listen, you have cancer’. Not just cancer, advanced cancer,” explained the presenter. He also stated that he has gone under the knife to remove a tumour in his colon, adding that more treatment is yet to come, including chemotherapy, as the cancer has spread to his liver. “I will be starting chemotherapy and then there may be another operation later on along the line, so there is quite a lot happening,” he said.


Even in the face of adversity, Xolani is still positive and says he’s ready to fight the cancer. “It is going to be a very long fight, partly because the cancer is in its advanced stage. It’s going to be a difficult fight, but it is a fight I am ready for.” He also brought his oncologist to the interview, who explained that Xolani is responding well to surgery and recovered in record time.


Xolani explained that the cancer diagnosis was an eye-opener for him and he now knows more about the disease and wants to raise awareness about it. “After this, I have learned, we’ve got to raise awareness. There’s cancer all over and it can happen to anyone. I don’t smoke or drink, I live well and my parents don’t have it, as far as I know. So the thing about cancer is that it can happen to anyone. But do we have state facilities to deal with it?” asked Xolani. He added, “My oncology treatment is over half a million (Rand) and I’m not talking about anything else, I'm just talking about the oncology treatment.”  “So you say to people to go get tested and then what happens afterwards when in KwaZulu-Natal there isn’t a single oncologist, what do the people there do? Where do they go? And where do they get that kind of money? I’m lucky I have medical aid. We need to start a campaign that’s similar to the treatment action campaign, where they campaign about the prices of Aids drugs. That has to be done for cancer.” Xolani was unable to comment further as he is taking time to heal at the moment.

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