The invasion by Russia of Ukraine on the 24th February 2022 has created a massive humanitarian crisis for Ukraine and Europe generating huge challenges for cancer and palliative care. As of the 1st May some 12-13 million Ukrainian citizens were still trapped in active conflict zones, nearly 8 million had become internally displaced, mostly to the West, and nearly 6 million had left to become refugees.
In support of the WHO Ukraine Cancer Emergency Response and the ECO-ASCO Special Network: Impact of the War in Ukraine on Cancer ecancer has commissioned a special set of interviews with some of the key actors in the cancer humanitarian response both within and outside Ukraine.
This first set of interviews, conducted some 2 months into the conflict, serve both as sources of on-the-ground experience and as living witness and testament to the extraordinary work of doctors, patient organisations, professional groups and UN agencies such as WHO in their efforts to adapt to the many challenges.
Prof Richard Sullivan (Kings College London, London, UK) and Prof Natacha Bolaños (Lymphoma Coalition, Madrid, Spain) discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer.
They begin by discussing Prof Bolaños' work with Lymphoma Coalition leading up to the events of February 24th 2022, and how they changed after that date.
Prof Bolaños then goes on to talk about how she first got involves with helping Ukrainian cancer patients and the challenges the organisation have had to face over the last 2 months.
After acknowledging the complications of managing blood cancers compared to solid adult cancers, expressing that the eventual rebuilding of blood cancer services in Ukraine will be a significant endeavour, Prof Sullivan concludes by asking Prof Bolaños what she believes is needed going forward.
You can read more about the Special Network here and here