How to help cancer patients in Ukraine

  • The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 179,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients are in Ukraine.
  • The American Cancer Society’s Clinical Volunteer Corps works with its National Cancer Information Clearinghouse to respond to calls and questions from people in Eastern Europe. Volunteers are needed.
  • Organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Tabletochki Charitable Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Hospital are accepting donations to help cancer patients in Ukraine.

Ukrainian cancer patients are fighting for their lives, not only because of bullets and missiles fired by the Russian military, but also because they are increasingly cut off from their medical treatments.

The American Cancer Society estimates More than 179,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients are in Ukraine, sparking a global backlash among treatment professionals in an attempt to help.

“Disruptions in cancer treatment pose a serious risk to the survival of Ukrainian cancer patients,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, CEO of the company, in a statement.

The situation is growing increasingly desperate as hospitals have become targets, as evidenced by Wednesday’s attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, which was home to three people, including a child, the Associated Press reported.

The World Health Organization said via Twitter on Thursday that it had verified 26 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine in total. They left 12 dead and 34 injured.

“Some cancer centers have been destroyed. Others are in areas where there are active hostilities,” said Dr Mariia Kukushikina from the National Cancer Institute of Ukraine in Kyiv, in a podcast interview with Dr. John Sweetenham from the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern in Texas.

Those that remain only provide outpatient treatment and emergency surgeries, she said. Hospitals in the safest areas of western Ukraine are now overloaded with patients. Kukushikina also said neighboring countries were accepting some of the patients.

Volunteers wanted

The American Cancer Society reports that its network of oncologists and nurses through its Clinical Volunteer Corps is working with its National Cancer Information Center to take calls and answer questions from those in Eastern Europe.

As part of the effort, the American Society for Clinical Oncology is reaching out to the cancer care community to try to recruit people who can speak Eastern European languages, especially Ukrainian, for the volunteer effort. ASCO says it represents oncology professionals not only in Ukraine, but in neighboring countries where refugees seek safety – Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia and Hungary.

“The global cancer community is coming together in solidarity to lend support to the countless displaced patients whose cancer treatments have been interrupted and who now need help finding care,” said Dr Julie Gralow, physician- leader and executive vice president of ASCO, in a statement.

How you can help

  • The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Crisis Response Fund helps people with cancer, caregivers and healthcare professionals in times of crisis. You can donate here.
  • The Kyiv, Ukraine-based Tabletochki Charitable Foundation has tried to raise funds to help pediatric cancer patients in the war-torn country, saying it has been able to continue its work despite the danger. The Foundation has set a goal of $500,000. From Thursday morning, he had lifted $304,036 from 2,419 donors towards his goal. You can donate here.
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has joined with Fundacja Herosi (a charity in Ukraine) to coordinate humanitarian efforts, assisting the transition and continuation of care and treatment of Ukrainian children with cancer to hospitals in Poland and abroad. You can donate here.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross is responding to urgent humanitarian needs on the ground in Ukraine. You can donate here.

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.


Chris Woodyard is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Read more

How to help cancer patients in Ukraine

  • The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 179,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients are in Ukraine.
  • The American Cancer Society’s Clinical Volunteer Corps works with its National Cancer Information Clearinghouse to respond to calls and questions from people in Eastern Europe. Volunteers are needed.
  • Organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Tabletochki Charitable Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Hospital are accepting donations to help cancer patients in Ukraine.

Ukrainian cancer patients are fighting for their lives, not only because of bullets and missiles fired by the Russian military, but also because they are increasingly cut off from their medical treatments.

The American Cancer Society estimates More than 179,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients are in Ukraine, sparking a global backlash among treatment professionals in an attempt to help.

Read more

“Disruptions in cancer treatment pose a serious risk to the survival of Ukrainian cancer patients,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, CEO of the company, in a statement.

The situation is growing increasingly desperate as hospitals have become targets, as evidenced by Wednesday’s attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, which was home to three people, including a child, the Associated Press reported.

The World Health Organization said via Twitter on Thursday that it had verified 26 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine in total. They left 12 dead and 34 injured.

“Some cancer centers have been destroyed. Others are in areas where there are active hostilities,” said Dr Mariia Kukushikina from the National Cancer Institute of Ukraine in Kyiv, in a podcast interview with Dr. John Sweetenham from the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern in Texas.

Those that remain only provide outpatient treatment and emergency surgeries, she said. Hospitals in the safest areas of western Ukraine are now overloaded with patients. Kukushikina also said neighboring countries were accepting some of the patients.

Volunteers wanted

The American Cancer Society reports that its network of oncologists and nurses through its Clinical Volunteer Corps is working with its National Cancer Information Center to take calls and answer questions from those in Eastern Europe.

As part of the effort, the American Society for Clinical Oncology is reaching out to the cancer care community to try to recruit people who can speak Eastern European languages, especially Ukrainian, for the volunteer effort. ASCO says it represents oncology professionals not only in Ukraine, but in neighboring countries where refugees seek safety – Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia and Hungary.

“The global cancer community is coming together in solidarity to lend support to the countless displaced patients whose cancer treatments have been interrupted and who now need help finding care,” said Dr Julie Gralow, physician- leader and executive vice president of ASCO, in a statement.

How you can help

  • The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Crisis Response Fund helps people with cancer, caregivers and healthcare professionals in times of crisis. You can donate here.
  • The Kyiv, Ukraine-based Tabletochki Charitable Foundation has tried to raise funds to help pediatric cancer patients in the war-torn country, saying it has been able to continue its work despite the danger. The Foundation has set a goal of $500,000. From Thursday morning, he had lifted $304,036 from 2,419 donors towards his goal. You can donate here.
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has joined with Fundacja Herosi (a charity in Ukraine) to coordinate humanitarian efforts, assisting the transition and continuation of care and treatment of Ukrainian children with cancer to hospitals in Poland and abroad. You can donate here.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross is responding to urgent humanitarian needs on the ground in Ukraine. You can donate here.

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.


Chris Woodyard is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Read more