World Cancer Day: Cancer Pain Ravages Lives amidst Pandemic Challenges


Nearly 2 of every 3 people diagnosed with advanced cancer around the world do not have access to essential medicines for relief of moderate to severe pain.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, UNITED STATES, February 3, 2021 / -- When 60-year old Rose Kiwanuka, was diagnosed with advanced cancer three years ago in Kampala, Uganda, she needed two things.

Relief from intolerable pain in order to eat and sleep, and emotional support. As a retired nurse and national palliative care advocate, she was confident that she had access to both those services while seeking cancer treatment.

The situation with Covid-19 has changed that for others in her country and other low- and middle-income settings.

Kiwanuka recalls a patient with advanced breast cancer traveling for a full day by bus, or 500 kilometers, to receive two weeks’ worth of morphine as she suffered from severe pain.

"I felt the world had crumpled on me. I needed people to talk to, to support me, to explain what was happening. To relieve my pain. So palliative care has been playing a very big role in my life.”

Rose Kiwanuka, cancer survivor and palliative care advocate

Walther Global Palliative Care & Supportive Oncology

IU School of Medicine & IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center

540 Barnhill Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: +1-(317) 278-4006