Is the biology of breast cancer in Africa changing?

  • K Patel
  • F Ndaingui
  • N Busakhala
  • R.M. Strother


Background: Incidence of breast cancer (BC) is increasing in Africa, with higher case-mortality compared to non-African settings. Prior studies have shown that BC in Africa has a much higher proportion of estrogen-receptor (ER) negative and triple negative (TN) cancers, subsets with poorer prognosis regardless of the setting. However, there is growing evidence that these differences may partly be attributed to prior study designs and resources.

Objectives: To determine the status of hormone receptor ER, PR and growth factor Her2 status on breast cancer.

Design: A prospective study.

Setting: Histopathology and immunohistochemistry laboratary at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital

Subjects: Tissue specimens from 100 breast cancer patients.

Results: Patients mean age at the time of diagnosis was 45 years, 98% of cases were in women, 90% were infiltrating ductal carcinoma, and the majority were poorly differentiated. Sixty-two percent were ER positive 44% were PR positive and 22% were Her-2 /neu . Twenty-four percent of cases were TN.

Conclusion: With improved access to in-country reliable IHC, our study supports the growing data that African breast cancer is not radically biologically different from breast cancers outside Africa.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X