Research

The spectrum of gastric cancer as seen in a large quaternary hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

F Benamro, B Sartorius, D L Clarke, F Anderson, E Loots, L Olinger

Abstract


Background. Gastric cancer (GC) is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world, with the third-highest associated mortality. It has a varying geographical, ethnic and socioeconomic distribution.

Objective. To assess the presentation and management of GC in the Durban metropolitan area, South Africa.

Methods. A retrospective review of 131 patients treated at the quaternary Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban from 2009 to 2014 was performed.

Results. The 131 patients were predominantly black African (n=59, 45.0%) and Indian (n=63, 48.1%). Gender was evenly distributed, with 72 males (55.0%) and 59 females (45.0%). The average age of the patients was 60 years (standard deviation 13.3). More than 70% were in advanced stages of cancer and were treated conservatively. There was no significant relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the position of the tumour (p=0.175). Creatinine and albumin levels differed significantly between the genders (p<0.001 and p=0.01, respectively).

Conclusions. GC appears to have a disproportionately high prevalence among Indians in Durban, and the prevalence of GC appears to be slightly higher among males. Both these observations may simply reflect referral patterns and warrant further investigation. More than 70% of patients presented with advanced-stage disease, and anaemia was common. No relationship was found between BMI and the location of the tumour, although most of the cancers were in the body and distal part of the stomach.


Authors' affiliations

F Benamro, Department of Surgery, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Durban, South Africa; Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

B Sartorius, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; South African Medical Research Council/University of KwaZulu-Natal Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Centre, Durban, South Africa

D L Clarke, Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; Department of General Surgery, Grey’s Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

F Anderson, Department of Surgery, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Durban, South Africa; Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

E Loots, Department of Surgery, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Durban, South Africa; Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; South African Medical Research Council/University of KwaZulu-Natal Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Centre, Durban, South Africa

L Olinger, School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Keywords

Gastric cancer; Presentation; Management

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2017;107(2):130-133. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i2.11383

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-01-30
Date published: 2017-01-30

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