Breast Cancer Treatment Horror in Gaza (VIDEO)

Philippa Whitford in theatre in Gaza (The Guardian)

For women with breast cancer in Gaza, Israel and Egypt’s isolation of the area affects nearly every stage of their diagnosis and treatment.

Doctors in clinics and hospitals told surgeon Philippa Whitford, that vital medicines, including chemotherapy drugs, were extremely difficult to gain access to. Several patients reported having had their chemotherapy course interrupted when drugs could not be supplied, or that they were unable to complete the course at all.

Radiotherapy is completely unavailable. Patients requiring it must apply to Israel for a permit to travel to hospitals in East Jerusalem. The application procedure is time-consuming, and patients must cover the cost of their own transport and accommodation.

These women are struggling to access the care they need at the most vulnerable and frightening moment in their lives

As radiotherapy is crucial in allowing breast conservation, this leads to the vast majority of women having full mastectomies and clearance of their axillary nodes, which is largely an unnecessary procedure.

Given the UN estimates that in just another four years Gaza will be uninhabitable – because of pressure on space, food production and provision of water – a solution to this man-made crisis has never been more urgent.


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1 Comment

  1. The effects of the Israeli-Egyptian siege on Gaza is both well-known, and an indictment of the international community. The UN, the international organ used against developing, or “other” countries, is notable only for its abject failure to impose the kinds of sanctions imposed on other states not “playing by the rules” such as Iraq, South Africa, Iran. KHALLAS! YA BASTA! ENOUGH!!! As someone who’s both had breast cancer, and been subjected to two Israeli offensives, the most frightening and vulnerable moments of my life were not while facing cancer, but while being terrorised day and night by Israeli weapons – which ultimately come down to the same thing – the effects of Israeli impunity.

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