Primary head and neck cancers in North Eastern Nigeria

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Otoh, EC
Johnson, NW
Danfillo, IS
Adeleke, OA
Olasoji, HA
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Dr. O G Ajao

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2004
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BACKGROUND: To document the pattern of primary head and neck cancers in North Eastern Nigeria. STUDY DESIGN: A record-based study of primary head and neck cancers histologically diagnosed at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), Maiduguri, North Eastern Nigeria between 1987 and 2002. RESULTS: A total of 317 cases (20 cases per year) were diagnosed. The most common cancer sites were the oral cavity (15.1%) and nasopharynx (11.7%). Carcinomas (68.4 %) were the most common cancers reported, mostly affecting the oral cavity (20.3%). Carcinomas were associated with farmers, kola nut chewers and tobacco users in this region, while kaposi sarcoma was the only cancer associated with HIV-positive patients. The overall mean duration of symptoms for cancers was 29.1+/-62.2 months. The mean duration for carcinomas was longer than for sarcomas (p>0.05) and lymphomas (p= 0.05). 81 % of the staged cancers reported in the stage IV; while treated cancers required primary radiotherapy (51 %) or an adjuvant radical surgery and chemotherapy (9.4%). CONCLUSION: Intra-oral carcinomas were the most common histological types of cancers in the head and neck. The delay before and the cancer stage at presentation may be due to the lack of cancer management facilities and manpower in most of the hospitals in the region.

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West African Journal of Medicine

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23

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4

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