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Never-Ending Suffering of Cancer Patients in Northern Syria

Many crucial cancer treatments are unavailable in northern Syria, according to Zaman al-Wasl.
Never-Ending Suffering of Cancer Patients in Northern Syria

The campaign titled “Save Cancer Patients” in northern Syria was launched several months ago by activists and media professionals. Its primary objective is to provide treatment to hundreds of patients, the majority of whom are children. This initiative is necessary due to the scarcity of essential medical equipment and specialized medical personnel required to effectively treat cancer in the region.

In an interview with Zaman Al-Wasl =, Mohammed al-Rahim, the father of a child who recently underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his head, emphasized the urgent need for radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these crucial treatments are unavailable in northern Syria. To address this issue, the father suggested facilitating patient admissions to hospitals in Turkey or establishing cancer treatment facilities within the northern regions of Syria.

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Additionally, the brother of another cancer patient shared the challenges they face regarding his sister’s treatment. He mentioned the high cost of her treatment, their inability to cover the expenses themselves, and the unavailability of adequate medical care. Desperate for a solution, they were forced to leave their homes and relocate to northern Syria. They expressed their frustration at being unable to seek treatment in Turkey for their 53-year-old sister.

The patient’s brother further emphasized their struggle to find treatment options within northern Syria or access healthcare in Turkey.

Dr. Ayham Demo, a hematologist and oncologist who heads the Department of Hematology and Oncology at SAMS, highlighted their efforts to offer free treatment for six types of cancer, along with complimentary consultations for all cancer types.

Dr. Demoo drew attention to the challenges faced by their medical center in northern Syria, specifically the lack of chemotherapy options for various types of cancer. This scarcity worsened after patient entry into Turkey was halted, placing immense pressure on their facility.

Dr. Demo mentioned the absence of free radiotherapy, a crucial complement to cancer treatment, and the prohibitively expensive immunotherapy, both of which are inaccessible in northwestern Syria. Consequently, the diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment of oncology patients have been delayed, resulting in worsened conditions and even loss of life.

Dr. Demo made an appeal to relevant authorities to open the Bab al-Hawa crossing and establish a humanitarian corridor. This would allow the entry of all cancer patients seeking treatment in Turkish hospitals.

It is important to note that there are thousands of cancer patients in northern Syria, primarily children. However, due to the recent earthquake in Turkey on February 6th, patient entries for treatment in Turkish territory were temporarily halted, adding to the complexity of the situation.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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