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J R Coll Surg Edinb. 1993 Apr;38(2):75-8.

Experience with breast cancer in Zimbabwe.

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Department of Surgery, Mpilo Central Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.


Eighty-four patients were treated for carcinoma of the breast at Mpilo Central Hospital, Bulawayo, between July 1987 and December 1990. The age at diagnosis appears to be bimodal with an early peak between 35 years and 40 years and a later peak between 60 years and 65 years. As expected, these patients were of high parity (median 5) and 96% of them breast fed for an average of 16 months. It would appear that late presentation with advanced systemic disease accounts for the dismal prognosis. Eighty-four per cent of the patients presented with late disease with only 16% presenting with early disease. Of the 25 patients who were followed to death the median survival was 12 weeks. For various logistic reasons long-term follow-up has not been possible for the rest of the patients. The expense involved in travelling long distances appears to be the main problem. To improve the outcome of breast cancer in our community we we need to embark on an active education campaign to increase public awareness of the significance of breast symptomatology. However, the incidence of carcinoma of the breast in this part of the world remains very low when compared with experience in Western countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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