New documentary highlights breast cancer tragedy in Gaza

Published 23 September 2011
Women Die Waiting, a documentary exploring the dire situation for women in Gaza who are diagnosed with breast cancer, will screen next week in Broadmeadows.

The film will be screened at the launch of Anglicords Women Die Waiting campaign, and will be introduced by Mr Bryan Dawe, one of Australias finest political satirists.

Breast cancer in Gaza is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and the surgical remedies available inside Gaza are not sufficient to treat it. Women must then apply for permits to leave Gaza for treatment in surrounding countries. This is a lengthy process, and often their permits are arbitrarily revoked at the checkpoints. As a result, many women die waiting for treatment.

"Regardless of the reasons for the blockade of Gaza, women should not be left to die of breast cancer," said Misha Coleman, CEO of Anglicord, who recently led a delegation of Australian Parliamentarians to Palestine to learn about the impact of the blockade.

"Radiation treatment is not available in Gaza, because the importation of radioactive material is prohibited," Ms Coleman said. "Chemotherapy, the other mainstay of breast cancer treatment, is also not available, due to the unreliable provision of medications."

Anglicords Women Die Waiting campaign will be officially launched by Maria Vamvakinou, the Federal Member for Calwell, who has been a long term advocate for the people of Palestine.

"We take availability of health care for granted in this country, because we live in a democratic and free society that respects the rights of all, and we all are equal before the law," Ms Vamvakinou said earlier this year in a speech to the Australian Parliament.

While cancer itself does not discriminate, issues relating to late-stage detection and access to appropriate treatment does, and it certainly does for the women in Gaza.


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