Cancer presentation patterns in Lagos, Nigeria: Experience from a private cancer center
Background: Cancer incidence and mortality is increasing worldwide. In 2018, there were an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths. In Nigeria, it is estimated that 100,000 new cases occur annually, with a high case fatality ratio. The burden of cancer in Nigeria is significant, as the country still grapples with infectious diseases and has limited data on cancer epidemiology. Our study is descriptive using data from a hospital-based registry.
Objectives: This retrospective study assesses the characteristics of patients that presented to a private cancer center in Lagos, Nigeria. We aimed to update knowledge on the current trends of cancer in Nigeria as exemplified by the experience of this cancer center and set a foundation for guiding future research and policy efforts in cancer screening, prevention, and control.
Methods: The records of all the 548 oncology patients registered at the Lakeshore Cancer Center (LCC) cancer registry from January 2015 to June 2018 were reviewed for this study.
Results: Most common cancer types were breast cancer for females (46%) and prostate cancer for males (32%). 92% of the tumors were malignant and 97% of the patients were symptomatic. Among patients diagnosed with cancer, 49% were ≤ 50 years old, 90% paid for their healthcare out of pocket, and 67% did not complete treatment.
Conclusions: This study highlights the state of cancer care in Nigeria and should guide future research, with a focus on public awareness, screening programs and implementation of novel cancer control policies and infrastructure that supports early detection.
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