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IARC Sci Publ. 1984;(63):665-74.

Changes in the presentation of Burkitt's lymphoma in Ghana over a 15-year period (1969-1982).


Over a 15-year period, 485 cases of Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) mainly from the southern half of Ghana, were referred to the Burkitt's Tumour Project in Accra, Ghana. From an analysis of the numbers of cases referred each year, the sites of tumour involvement, and the age and sex frequencies, it was concluded that: (i) the number of cases of BL diagnosed in Ghana has decreased progressively over the last 15 years; the number of newly diagnosed cases is now only about one half of what it was 10 years ago; (ii) the male/female ratio has remained practically unchanged over this period; (iii) there has been an overall increase in patients presenting with abdominal disease and a decrease in those presenting with facial disease. This change was particularly apparent in males, in whom the proportion of cases with abdominal disease has more than doubled; (iv) there has been a progressive increase in age at presentation for both males and females over the 15-year period. The possible implications of, and reasons for the above findings are discussed.

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