Every year October is dedicated as breast cancer awareness month, the pink ribbon month. Health professionals and advocates in Tigray used to use this month as means of creating awareness among the society, which hasn’t happened for the past 2 years because of the siege. Many patients were on follow up, many on chemotherapy and many waiting for surgery.  Due to the current situation in Tigray many patients have been absent  from their follow up due to lack of transportation and financial problems.  Even if they make it , despite every challenge, situations here are not welcoming. The hospital has been out of chemotherapy for two years now and we were using expired chemotherapeutic drugs for the last few months before we ran out of them too. Elective and palliative surgeries are not being done and patients are left to die and physicians in mental torture.

A senior oncologist who was US trained and currently working in our hospital bursted into tears when asked about the conditions of his patients on a tevevised interview. Another senior surgeon at the hospital said he feels 'helpless' and that  he  even doubts if we are a living part of the universe .

  A living witness of this dire situation, a 35 year old breast cancer patient who was on combination chemotherapy; doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel (ACT regimen) was forced to discontinue her treatment due to lack of the drugs and said that she was waiting for her death time. She is a mother of 5 and is worried about the future of her kids.

As the 2022 world cancer congress is being held ( oct18- 20) in Geneva, we ask the IC to seriously consider the grieving situation in Tigray.

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