More than 179,000 newly diagnosed patients with cancer are among the Ukrainian people suffering from Russia’s unprovoked aggression. In response, the American Cancer Society (ACS), in partnership with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center-Jefferson Health, is taking steps to support all Ukrainian cancer patients and their families, including migrant and multicultural communities. As an extension of their recent content-sharing collaboration, ACS and ASCO are making free cancer resources available in English, Ukrainian, Polish and Russian through their patient information websites at www.cancer.org/ukrainesupport and www.cancer.net/ukraine, with additional patient education resources planned.
“Disruptions to cancer treatment pose a grave risk to the survival of Ukrainian patients with cancer,” said ACS CEO Dr. Karen Knudsen. “We, along with our invaluable partners, are committed to leveraging our expertise and vast network to help Ukrainian cancer patients and their families, as well as the Ukrainian oncology research and care community.”
In addition, ACS, ASCO and Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center-Jefferson Health are engaging a network of oncologists and oncology nurses to provide support through ACS’s Clinician Volunteer Corps. This corps will serve as a resource to those in need in Eastern Europe by enabling health professional volunteers to work with American Cancer Society National Cancer Information Center (NCIC) team members to field inquiries from patients, family members and clinicians. NCIC specialists will answer calls and connect them to health professionals to address as appropriate. NCIC can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-227-2345.
“The world’s cancer community is coming together in solidarity to provide support for the countless displaced patients whose cancer treatments have been disrupted and who now need help finding care,” said ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer/Executive Vice President, Dr. Julie Gralow. “As oncologists, our members are uniquely qualified to provide timely cancer information to help both healthcare providers and displaced patients in desperate need of cancer expertise. We’re calling on all those who are able to help, especially those who speak Ukrainian and other Eastern European languages from the region.”
“Today healthcare professionals across the world are united in their desire to support Ukrainian people during this apocalyptic humanitarian crisis. We stand together with Ukrainian physicians and healthcare community to provide assistance and support to the most vulnerable, wherever necessary and possible,” said Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals’ Vice President of Cancer Services/Senior Administrator, Alex Khariton. “I believe that the focus on displaced cancer patients and families across the region would make a real difference.”
ASCO members can sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org. All other oncologists or oncology nurses can volunteer by completing the sign-up form at www.cancer.org/ukrainevolunteer.
As a global organization, the American Cancer Society and its partners stand in solidarity with all Ukrainians, and its focus is on countries with the most need where it can achieve measurable results. Many cases of cancer can be prevented or treated successfully, especially if detected early. ACS notes, “We also work with partners throughout the world to help shape the global policy agenda as it pertains to global health and cancer control.”