Middle Eastern populations share many of the same health challenges facing most low- and middle-income nations, and health resources are usually scarce and unreliable, limiting the availability of preventive and screening measures.
Cancer, as other chronic diseases, is, and will increasingly remain, a major health challenge among Middle Eastern populations. To face this inevitable challenge, a collaborative regional effort is required in order to achieve desirable solutions. Local health organizations, working together, can play an important role in creating a motivating stimulus to promote such change, transcending political, cultural and ethnic borders.
Today, about 70% of all cancer patients in Middle Eastern countries see a physician for the first time, when the tumor has reached stage III or IV and is no longer operable. The only treatment left is palliation. However, clinicians delivering palliative care in situations of political conflict characterized by enmity and violence are confronted with challenges that include the disruption of medical infrastructures, distrust and suspicion.