Sarcoma of the head and neck at Kenyatta National Hospital

  • ML Chindia
  • SM Swaleh
  • PM Godia


Objective: To determine the pattern of occurrence of sarcomas afflicting the neck and craniofacial region.
Design: A retrospective study (1982-1991).
Setting: Cancer Registry, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.
Method: Examination was performed of the cancer records in the registry over the period 1982 to 1991 inclusive. Histopathological types of the sarcomas were then analysed to indicate the numbers that occurred per year; and also the pattern of occurrence according
to age groups, gender and site.
Results: Of the 10,897 whole body neoplasms, 985 were sarcomas. Among these sarcomas, 160 (16%) were located in the neck and craniofacial region. The histopathological types of the neoplasms included Kaposi’s sarcoma (39%), osteosarcoma (23%), rhabdomyosarcoma (21 %), fibrosarcoma (13%), chondrosarcoma (two per cent), malignant fibrous histiocytoma (one per cent) and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (one per cent).
Conclusion: The results of this investigation, in concordance with those of other series worldwide, indicate that the various sarcomas afflicting the neck and craniofacial area are generally rare.

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eISSN: 0012-835X