The Frequency and Pattern of Female Genital Tract Malignancies at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
Background: Female genital tract malignancy is common in our low resource setting. Options now exist for prevention, detection, treatment, and palliative care for the wide spectrum of female genital tract malignancies. Women will continue to die from these cancers unless health professionals and civil society adopt means to control female genital tract cancers in our low resource setting.
Aim: The objective was to determine the frequency and patterns of female genital tract malignancy at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Nigeria. Materials and
Methods: A 6‑year retrospective study of female genital tract malignancies was conducted at the UNTH, Enugu. The case notes of patients admitted for female genital tract malignancy between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008 were retrieved from the medical records and cancer registry of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu and relevant data were extracted. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 12 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) and the results expressed in descriptive statistics by simple percentages.
Results: One hundred and sixty six (166) cases of genital malignancies were recorded during the 6‑year review. Majority of the patients were in the fifth and sixth decades of life. Cancer of the cervix accounted for 66.3% (110/166) followed by ovarian cancer 21.1% (35/166). The other tumors seen during the period were tumors involving corpus uteri 9% (15/166) and vulva 3.6% (6/166). Tumors of fallopian tube and vagina were not seen during the study period.
Conclusion: Despite the preventable nature of cancer of cervix, it remained the most common female genital tract malignancy in Enugu, South‑East Nigeria. In our low resource setting in the developing countries, education and public enlightenment on the importance of routine screening and treatment of premalignant lesions of the cervix are necessary tools to reduce the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer.
Keywords: Enugu‑Nigeria, Female, Frequency, Genital malignancies, Palliative care, Prevention