Burden And Pattern Of Cancer In Western Kenya

  • CN Tenge
  • RT Kuremu
  • NG Buziba
  • K Patel
  • PA Were


Background: Cancer regisries worldwide have evolved to provide useful information on the burden and diversity of the patterns of cancer, information that is vital for establishing appropriate programmes for disease management. Population based data on cancer in western Kenya as captured in the Eldoret cancer registry established in
1999 is analysed and reported in this paper.
Objective: To determine the burden and pattern of cancer in Western Kenya by use of data from the Eldoret cancer registry.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: The cancer registry located in the Department of Haematology at the Moi University, School of Medicine situated at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya. The hospital has a catchment population of 13 to 15 million people forming about 40% of the Kenyan population.
Results: A total of 5,366 patients were diagnosed to have cancer and attended to at the MTRH and other hospitals in Eldoret during the period between January 1999 and December 2006 giving an average of 671 cases per year. Among those treated 2,699 were males and 2,667 were females giving a M: F ratio of 1:1. About 21% of the patients had haematological malignancies with non-Hodgkins lymphoma being the most common.
Another 79% of the patients had solid tumours with cancer of the oesophagus being the commonest. Cancer of the cervix and prostrate were the commonest among the females and males respectively. A general increase in the number of patients with Kaposis sarcoma associated with HIV/AIDS pandemic was observed.
Conclusion: The burden of cancer is a significant health problem in western Kenya and there is need for the development of a comprehensive cancer care programme in the region to address the growing problem.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X