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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 74-79

Prevalence and pattern of late-stage presentation in women with breast and cervical cancers in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

1 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos State, Nigeria
3 General Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos State, Nigeria
4 Sebeccly Cancer Care, Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Opeyemi Awofeso
041B, Block 5, Student Hostel, College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, Lagos State, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_112_17

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Background: Cervical and breast cancers are the most common cancers among women in developing countries contributing to high morbidity and mortality. Even though both these cancers have a better prognosis if caught early; however, studies conducted in Nigeria still show a large incidence of late tumor stage presentation. Objectives: This study aimed at identifying the patient and disease characteristics of women with breast and cervical cancers presenting at a tertiary medical facility in Nigeria, with emphasis on the prevalence of late-stage presentation and reasons for late-stage presentation. Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited women at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) with breast and cervical cancers from April to June 2016; an interviewer-based questionnaire was administered to 105 patients who seen to elicit information needed to achieve the set objectives. Results: The mean age of patients was 51.09 (±11.70) years; majority had no known family history and no health insurance. Most cervical cancer patients were unaware of their human papillomavirus status. About 72.81% of all patients presented late, surprisingly 87.6% of patients presented in an appropriate health-care facility as place of the first contact, but still presented in LUTH at late stages of their disease mostly due to misdiagnosis. Reasons for late presentation included fear, misconceptions, misdiagnosis, ignorance, and prolonged investigation time. Conclusion: As late-stage presentation was associated with both poor health-seeking behavior and health system delays; interventions should not only include increased awareness for the early detection and diagnosis but also measures to ensure improvements in health service delivery to ensure timely diagnosis and the management of breast and cervical cancers.

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