In the province of Raqqa, northeast of Syria, cancer patients suffer while going in exhausting trips to Damascus from time to time in order to receive treatment, as there are no specialized cancer treatment centres in their town.
Um Hussein, who is suffering from endometrial cancer, while struggling with poor financial conditions, told Rozana that she discovered her disease about a year ago. Back then, she went to seek treatment in Damascus, south of Syria, and in the hospital she went through a hysterectomy.
She continued: "I have taken chemotherapy doses in Raqqa. However, I have stopped receiving the treatment three months ago because I cannot afford its exorbitant costs. Our financial situation is dreadful. I have only one son who is a construction worker. I hope they will support poor people who suffer from cancer and who cannot cover the costs of the medicines.”
“Hope Makers Organization” offers free cancer medicines to children with the disease in Raqqa.
Dr Firas al-Fahad, head of the organization, explained to Rozana that "the plight of cancer patients have worsened during the war due the difficulty of traveling to Damascus for chemotherapy in addition to the lack of specialized centres to help cancer patients."
He added: "the number of cancer patients in the province of Raqqa and its countryside is estimated at thousands. However, we have only one doctor specializing in cancerous tumours in the city."
Due to the scarcity of treatment centres in the province, some cancer patients have resorted to Alternative ways of treatment known as the "Arab’s medicine". Some of these cure seekers consider that the results shown by pseudo medicine are better than those of the chemotherapy doses.
Abu Hudayfeh, an alternative medicine practitioner in Raqqa, said that he recommends patients to eat natural plants, follow a certain alimentary diet, and avoid fatigue as well as stress.
The Syrian Ministry of Health had revealed last year that one Syrian is diagnosed with cancer out of each 1000 persons, noting also that 70 per cent of cancer cases are detected in later stages of the disease.