War in Ukraine: The impacts and challenges the Polish cancer care system has faced

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Published: 9 May 2023
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Prof Jacek Jassem - Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland

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 second set of interviews 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 Jacek Jassem (Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland) discuss the impact the war in Ukraine has had on the Polish cancer care system.

Since their last discussion, which can be found here, Prof Jassem provides an update discussing the challenges they faced and highlights the work the Polish cancer care system has been doing in supporting and treating refugees.

He concludes by exploring future investments in oncology.

You can read more about the Special Network here and here.