Gospel singer Neyi Zimu has died. He had been battling skin cancer. Picture: Supplied.
Gospel singer Neyi Zimu has died. He had been battling skin cancer. Picture: Supplied.

Everything you need to know about the cancer that killed Pastor Neyi Zimu

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Dec 5, 2019

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Tributes are still pouring after South Africans woke up to the sad passing of gospel singer Pastor Neyi Zimu.

According to media reports, the renowned gospel musician had been battling a rare skin disease.

His wife Nelisiwe Sibisi-Zimu revealed that her husband was battling mycosis and was admitted at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital where he was undergoing chemotherapy.

Speaking to Channel24, Sibisi-Zimu said at the time: "He went on light light therapy and we realised that it was not giving us results. We decided to involve oncology and he has just started chemotherapy.

"The higher stage treatment of the disease is chemotherapy," she said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that a 10 percent decrease in ozone levels will create an additional 300 000 non-melanoma and 4 500 melanoma skin cancer cases worldwide. And it can take just 15 minutes for permanent sun damage to the skin to occur.

Dr Marion Morkel, Chief Medical Officer at Sanlam, notes that while breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men remain the most common cancer-linked claims for Sanlam, melanoma is in the top five. 

CANSA reports that South Africa has the second-highest incidence rate of skin cancer in the world, after Australia. 

There are approximately 20 000 reported cases here per annum. While those with fairer skin and albinism need to take extra precautions, it’s important to note that everyone can be affected.

That’s why preventing skin cancer by protecting yourself completely requires a comprehensive approach.The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you:
  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Don’t get sunburned.
  • Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad- spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Use sunscreen on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.

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