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Cancer patients in Gaza continue to suffer on World Cancer Day

Tahani al-Rifi, a 34-year-old Palestinian thyroid cancer patient, sits on a bench in front of a coronavirus-inspired mural in Gaza City on February 1, 2021, amid restrictions imposed during the pandemic which have made traveling for treatment to a hospital in the West Bank impossible for her.

Ashraf Shannon
Press TV, Gaza

February 4th is World Cancer Day and on this day thousands of Gazan cancer patients suffer immensely due to the crippling Israeli blockade.

After being diagnosed with cancer, patients in Gaza have to wait for months before being able to receive treatment.

Gaza hospitals suffer from acute shortage in medicines especially for cancer patients.

Getting an Israeli permit to access the health care needed outside the impoverished enclave can be a stressful and unpredictable process, and many apply multiple times before being able to exit.

Currently cancer patients in Gaza suffer acute shortage of the essential drugs needed for their treatment, with a 50% deficit rate.

Despite the high number of cancer cases in Gaza, the Israeli regime also refuses to allow spare parts for radiation therapy machines to enter Gaza.

There are around 14,000 cancer patients in the Gaza Strip; 47% male and 53% female. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among females.

Cancer patients have also complained of humiliating treatment at the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing.

Under the current circumstances, the health condition of many cancer patients is likely to further deteriorate.

Human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip have repeatedly urged the international community to help bring an end to the Israeli blockade and save the lives of cancer patients.

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