Characteristics of Women Diagnosed with Invasive Cervical Cancer in Ghana

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Hugh Adam Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

2 Centre for International Health, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.

4 Disease Control and Prevention Department, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana.

5 National Centre for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.

Abstract

Objective: To describe the characteristics of women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer from 2010 to 2013
in two large hospitals in Ghana. Method: Medical records and other hospital data on women diagnosed with invasive
cervical cancer were collected from the Komfo Anokye and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospitals. Data were recorded onto
a standardized data collection sheet and analyzed using summary statistics. Results: For of the 1,725 women with
invasive cervical cancer who were included in the study, parity was high (5 and more births). The most common
diagnostic investigation undertaken was a cervical biopsy, performed for 95.5% of cases. Few women had an imaging
test performed as part of the diagnostic process (3.3%). Some had comorbid conditions at diagnosis (29.3%). Only 61%
of women attended at least one follow-up appointment after diagnosis of their cancer. Conclusion: Our study suggests
that more work is needed to improve patient education and access to diagnostic and treatment facilities to reduce the
incidence and mortality of cervical cancer in Ghana. Additionally, improvement in data quality is needed to provide
more complete data for cancer control in Ghana.

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