According to the United Nations (UN), more than 1.7 million Ukrainians have already fled to Central Europe due to the Russian invasion, which the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has called the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Many of those fleeing Ukraine and those remaining in the country are newly diagnosed patients with cancer. To provide ongoing support to patients with cancer, as well as the Ukrainian oncology research and clinical community, ASCO, in partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center–Jefferson Health, is making free cancer resources available in English, Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian through their patient information websites at cancer.net/ukraine and cancer.org/ukrainesupport.
In addition, ASCO, ACS, and Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center–Jefferson Health are engaging a network of oncologists and oncology nurses to provide support through the ACS’s Clinician Volunteer Corps. The Clinician Volunteer Corps will serve as a resource to those in Eastern Europe by enabling professional volunteers to work with the ACS National Cancer Information Center (NCIC) team to field inquiries from patients, family members, and clinicians. A 24-hour NCIC hotline, 800-227-2345, has been established to connect those impacted by cancer with a health-care professional.
“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 Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of ASCO, in a statement. “As oncologists, our members are uniquely qualified to provide timely cancer information to help both health-care 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.”
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Supporting Oncology Care Efforts in Ukraine and the Surrounding Region
Also aiding in the Ukrainian relief effort is the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and its members through a solidarity fund to support cancer organizations in Ukraine and the surrounding region.
“As we are all shocked with the turn of events in Ukraine and the tragic loss of civilian lives, we have asked UICC if it could help clear funds for Ukrainian member organizations who are critical in the provision of continued cancer care services,” said Johan van de Gronden, Chief Executive Officer of the Dutch Cancer Society, in a statement. “The moment the cancer care solidarity fund for Ukraine is operational, the Dutch Cancer Society will contribute €100,000 in unrestricted funding. We hope and trust other cancer societies will join in to support our colleagues in Ukraine in their hour of need.”
The newly created fund will be housed in Geneva under the authority of the UICC and its Board of Directors with the input of experts, and will make decisions on funding disbursement based on the needs of members in Ukraine and the surrounding countries. Full reporting will be made available to all those who donate to the fund, which will be subject to the accounting and internal financial rules applied to other funds operated by the UICC on behalf of its members and partners.
To contribute to the solidarity fund, contact the UICC at email@example.com for information on how to transfer funds to this account.