CURRENT STATUS OF CANCER REHABILITATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST G. Goldzweig Vol.2 (2019), pag. 6-9
Accepted after revision
Background: The aim of the current paper is to describe the status of cancer rehabilitation in the Middle East. The Middle East is a diverse region in terms of culture, religion, and politics. Cancer rates across the Middle East are expected to rise rapidly in the next two decades. In many Middle Eastern countries factors like lower income and political unrest limit cancer care services and the accessibility of these services, let alone limited cancer rehabilitation resources and services. Methods: Given the lack of data and publications in international peer-reviewed journals, it isdif culttodescribecancerrehabilitationintheMiddleEastandtodrawconclusions.Forthese reasons, instead of a comprehensive description, this paper focuses on examples from different countries demonstrating different levels of cancer rehabilitation.
Results: Generally, with some rare exceptions such as Iran, rehabilitation services are not developed in Middle Eastern countries. In cases where there are more developed services, these are not fully integrated into the cancer continuum of care.
Conclusions: Health care initiatives can't overcome regional and national barriers such as a military con ict or poor economy. Notwithstanding, global initiatives are important to assess what can be done locally with minimal resources. First steps can be introducing the concept of cancer rehabilitation through imparting simple guidelines and instructions for self-care to the patients. These guidelines can be communicated to patients and caregivers under the title of rehabilitation program by any member of the medical team. These guidelines can serve as the seed for more complex programs that require more resources.