As you can imagine, we are devastated by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. We particularly have great concern about the significant impact it is having on cancer patients trying to flee the country, as well as those who remain behind. All health services, including diagnostics, cancer treatment and supportive care have been disrupted, and continue to be. We have heard that cancer care is concentrated in Lviv, but cancer medicines and a safe place to stay are limited. Lviv is under a lot of pressure, and travel to Lviv for cancer patients is difficult and unsafe. The safety of people living with a cancer diagnosis, along with their carers and healthcare providers, must be a priority.
Action Kidney Cancer are working with the International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC) to try to help refugee cancer patients. The IKCC are currently working with local clinicians, cancer societies, charities and patient groups in the bordering countries to help refugee cancer patients access the continued care they need. Specifically IKCC is:
- Identifying medical translators to translate medical records for Ukrainian refugees in Poland
- Working with local clinicians in Poland to keep abreast of the rapidly evolving situation
- Working with other cancer societies and groups to share information. IKCC is part of WeCan, an informal network of leaders of cancer patient umbrella organisations active in Europe
- Liaising with the European Association of Urology (EAU) to translate kidney cancer fact sheets into Ukrainian to distribute via local groups and affiliate organisations across the region
- IKCC has made a financial donation to the Rakiety Foundation, a Polish charity working directly with refugees who are cancer patients to ensure their care can be continued. The charity assists with transport from the border, runs a 24 hour care line, and assists coordinating patients and hospitals/treatment centres etc.