East African Medical Journal

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Testicular cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi

EN Opot, GAO Magoha


Objective: To determine the prevalence, clinical characteristics, management methods and prognosis of testicular cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital. Design: Retrospective case study of testicular cancer patients over a fifteen year period.

Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital, a referral and teaching hospital.
Participants: All histologically confirmed testicular cancer patients recorded at theHistopathology Department of Kenyatta National Hospital between 1983 and 1997.

Results: The mean age was 34.8 years with a peak incidence in the 30-44 year age group. History of cryptochirdism was obtained in 10.26% of the patients. Thirty one patients (79.49%) presented with painless testicular swellings, eleven (28.08%) with pain, nine
(23.08%) with scrotal heaviness, six (15.38%) with abdominal swellings and one (2.56%) each with gynaecomastia and eye swelling. On examination 32 patients (82.05%) had testicular masses, ten (25.64%) had abdominal masses, seven (17.91%) had supraclavicular
and cervical lymphadenopathy, and one each (2.56%) had gynaecomastia and eye mass respectively. More than eighty nine per cent had germ cell cancers with seminoma accounting for 67.35%, teratoma 12.24%, embroyonal carcinoma 8.16%, rhabdomyosarcoma 6.12% and malignant germ cell tumour, orchioblastoma and dysgerminoma each accounted for 2.04%. Three patients (7.7%) had orchidectomy and radiotherapy and chemotherapy, sixteen (41.03%) had orchidectomy and radiotherapy, six (15.38%) had orchidectomy and chemotherapy, ten (25.64%) had radiotherapy and chemotherapy, three (7.7%) and two (5.13%) had only chemotherapy and radiotherapy respectively. No cisplastin based chemotherapy regime was used. Follow up was effected for eighteen patients (46.15%) and seven patients (38.89%) were alive after five years.

Conclusion: Prognosis with current regimes was poor with survival of only 38.89% after five years. Cisplastin based chemotherapy with up to 90% cure rates should be included as a component of testicular cancer management at Kenyatta National Hospital.
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