HEALTH >Don’t come to US, family support key in cancer treatment, Turkish Nobel laureate tells patients


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Turkish-American scientist Aziz Sancar, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has advised cancer patients to stay in Turkey and not go to the U.S., stressing the importance of family support in overcoming cancer. 

“I tell cancer patients: ‘Do not come to America,’” Sancar said on May 8 during a program broadcast on the U.S.-based Voice of America radio station.

“The treatment applied here is pretty standard. The same treatment is carried out all over the world, in America, in Europe. The most important support in treatment is family support. When people [cancer patients] come here [to the U.S.], they are deprived of family support,” he added. 

The Turkish scientist also said he was currently working on a project trying to increase the effect of a cancer drug.

Sancar, who works at the University of North Carolina, was among three scientists awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on DNA repair. Sancar won the prize along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich for his work in mapping the cells which repair ultraviolet damage to DNA. Their research was an important step toward treating cancer.

Sancar also spoke about his childhood during the Voice of America program, saying he was born in a small town named Savur in the remote southeastern Turkish province of Mardin, as the seventh of eight children.


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