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East Afr Med J. 2000 Oct;77(10):539-43.

Survival following treatment of primary breast cancer in eastern Nigeria.

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  • 1Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Nigeria.



To assess the survival patterns in female breast cancer patients treated in eastern Nigeria.


A prospective study.


Nmadi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital Onitsha and Aca Specialist Hospital, Nkpor, Onitsha, Nigeria.


Female breast cancer patients undergoing treatment offered by a single surgical practice.


The patients were offered modified radical mastectomy, multidrug chemotherapy and hormone therapy. The patients were subsequently followed up for significant periods or until death. Patients who did not complete the treatment or were lost to follow up were excluded from further analysis.


Out of 124 patients seen during the period, seventy eight were evaluable. The mean age was 44 years, 63% were pre and peri-menopausal while 56% had advanced diseases (Stages III and IV) at presentation. The overall median survival was 31 months but was better for Stages I and II (42 months) than for Stages III and IV (20 months). There was a slight survival advantage for post-menopausal patients. Distant metastases were most often seen in the vertebral tree and in the lung fields.


Survival from breast cancer is still poor in our set up. Efforts at earlier diagnosis must be aggressively pursued. Multi-centre trials are advocated in order to determine whether breast cancer pursues a more aggressive course in Nigerians.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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