A review of the prevalence and pattern of presentation of gynaecological cancers in a tertiary hospital in Nnewi, South-East Nigeria
Background: Although the battle against infections and communicable diseases is still ongoing, malignancies are increasingly becoming a health burden especially in gynaecological practice due to the late presentation of cancer patients. When these patients present with advanced forms of disease, medical personnel are often handicapped as they can only offer palliative treatment.
Aim / Objective: To conduct a preliminary review (pilot study) of gynaecological cancers in our centre preparatory to the establishment of a Gynaecological Oncology unit.
Method: This is a retrospective review of gynaecological cancers in our centre over a three-year period using information from patients’ folders, and theatre and admission registers.
Results: Out of a total of 1849 new gynaecological patients, 57(3.1%) were malignancies, representing 10.8% of all gynaecological admissions. Cervical cancer (61.4%) remains the most common cancer, while cancers of the fallopian tube and vulva (1.8%) are the least common. About 80% of the patients either had only primary or no formal education. The mean onset-to-presentation interval for symptoms ranged from 130days for cervical cancer to 336days for endometrial cancer.
Conclusion: Cervical cancer, though largely preventable, remains the most common gynaecological cancer in our environment with a strong linkage to illiteracy.
Keywords: Cancers, gynaecological, Nnewi, pattern