This report, jointly produced by SAMS and Relief International, examines the impact of prolonged conflict on cancer care in northwest Syria. Deliberate attacks on health facilities, as demonstrated in previous SAMS reports, have resulted in the destruction of approximately half of Syria’s health facilities and triggered an exodus of specialized medical personnel, leading to a severe shortage of trained medical staff. The grave situation, characterized by only 35 remaining oncologists in the country, is compounded by environmental degradation and living conditions, both of which contribute to increased exposure to carcinogens. Additionally, socioeconomic decline, trauma, stress, food insecurity, and malnutrition have heightened the population’s risk of cancer.
This report highlights the systemic inadequacies in addressing breast cancer among women. It discusses the barriers women face in accessing timely medical interventions and the subsequent implications for their well-being. It also provides an overview of the burden of cancer in northwest Syria and the currently available services and referral routes for patients. The report incorporates patient testimonies outlining the hurdles in accessing oncology care, particularly in the aftermath of the 2023 earthquake that affected southern Turkey and northwest Syria. It concludes with recommendations for stakeholders to address these healthcare gaps in the provision of specialized services and underscores the necessity for enhanced cancer screening and care initiatives in the northwest Syria region.