Treating Cancer

About Dr Prinitha Pillay

My experience over the last 25 years in the medical field motivated me to pursue a career in oncology. The reason was simple: cancer is on the rise, largely invisible and many patients are diagnosed late. I knew I had to use my all my experience and passion to have a greater impact on changing the conditions that will face the most vulnerable. I understand the difficulty to access care and that integrative comprehensive care is the hallmark to quality care.

After graduating with a BSc Hons. in Molecular Biology in 1996 at University of Witwatersrand, I pursued a career in medicine. After graduating as a doctor in 2003, I joined Doctors Without Borders, which provided my first taste of medical humanitarian action and over the next 10 years worked in many different and dire settings from Lesotho, South and North Sudan, India, Sierra Leone, Libya and in both urban and rural South Africa. I served as President of Doctors Without Borders in South Africa and part of the organisations governance internationally. I was featured as one of the top 10 Women in Health by the Mail and Guardian in 2011. In 2012, I returned to South Africa and worked as a technical specialist on HIV and TB with the University of Witwatersrand, and also worked for the Rural Health Advocacy Project advocating for better access to care for those living in rural areas.  I served as an independent external panelist on the South African Human Right Commission that investigated access to emergency services as a basic human right. During this time I also completed a Master’s degree in Infectious Diseases and Global Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Throughout my time as a medical doctor and in particular with Doctors Without Borders, I have been challenged to work at all levels of health care delivery advocating for patients from a micro (bedside) to macro (global health) level. My work made me feel part of the world and I realised bearing witness to patients ills and speaking out for somebody who cannot, is important to me.

I went on to specialise and complete a Fellowship in Radiation Oncology; and completed my Masters in Medicine studying the side effects of patients and sexual function of women with cervical cancer after receiving chemoradiation. 

I look forward to hearing from you, providing advice, referring you on to another specialist if needed and the opportunity for me to help you through your journey.