To name some of the main challenges in cancer care in Armenia:
• Access of care: The resources invested in oncology are so scarce, that most of patients remain without appropriate treatment. Majority of patients need to pay for their treatment out-of-pocket, which is a huge problem. Because of lack or limited availability of anticancer drugs, It is not possible to deliver the most advanced and new treatment in Armenia.
• Late cancer diagnosis due to low awareness about early cancer signs, limited screening programs, gaps in diagnostics, psychological and financial issues (many patients, even after noticing early signs, tend to visit doctors at the last, because of the fear of cancer and also fear of not having enough financial resources to cover diagnosis and treatment).
• Limited cancer care infrastructure: available few treatment facilities in Armenia are quite limited in their capacities, with outdated medical equipment, diagnostic and treatment types are scarce or some of them are not available (no bone marrow transplantation, no possibility to deliver some essential high-dose chemotherapy drugs as MTX, etc.).
• Fragmented care: Available cancer care in Armenia is fragmented, and for receiving the necessary treatment patients need to circulate between different hospitals and facilities and sometimes even go abroad. Hundreds of patients every year travel abroad to receive treatment, most of those patients pay out-of-pocket, or sometimes through public fundraising or with the help of few charitable organizations.