Each year, 10 million people around the world die from cancer. It can affect people of all ages and races and, while general health and lifestyle can affect someone’s risk of developing cancer, where we live often plays a major role in our chances of survival.
A whopping 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle-income countries, according to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), which says that millions of lives could be saved each year through improved prevention, early detection and treatment.
Cancer rates are rising in the Gaza Strip where the healthcare system is hampered by ongoing restrictions on the movement of people and goods. Chronic electricity shortages and the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with the destruction of several healthcare facilities during rocket attacks in May 2021, have heaped even more pressure on the healthcare system.
Shortages of medicines, equipment and specialist staff frustrate detection and treatment efforts, meaning the majority of cancer patients in Gaza never receive the care they deserve.