Cancer of the Ovary in Nnewi, Nigeria

  • JEN Okonkwo
  • GU Eleje
  • AC Eke
  • UN Ijeneme


Background: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecological cancer worldwide.
Objectives: This study was to determine the prevalence, risk factors, clinical presentations, treatment modalities and outcome of ovarian cancer in a tertiary health care institution.
Materials and Methods: A 5-year retrospective study of patients with ovarian cancer managed in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, South Eastern Nigeria, st between 1 January 2003 and 31st December 2007 was undertaken. The data was collected by scrutinizing the case files collected from the medical records department,
Results: There were 29 cases of ovarian cancer out of total of 122(23.8% of all gynaecological malignancies) gynaecological malignancies and2.9% of 1003 gynaecological admissions. The mean age of the patients was 52.9 + 1.7 years. More than 60% of the patients were above 50
years and 66.7% were grandmultipara. Abdominal swelling (47.8%) followed by abdominal pain (13.7) were the commonest presenting symptoms. Only 2 (7.4%) patients had a family history of cancer. Stage III (76.9%) was the modal stage at presentation. Approximately 63% were
epithelial tumours. Most of the patients (88.9%) had cytoreductive surgery and 92.3% of these had adjuvant chemotherapy. Two (7.6%) patients died intra-operatively, while 75.0% of the patients died within 6 months of therapy.
Conclusion: The prevalence of ovarian cancer was high in Nnewi and environs. Majority of patients presented late and mortality was high despite multimodal therapy. Public enlightenment to increase awareness and introduction of screening programme for early detection is advocated.

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