Presentation and Outcomes of Gastric Cancer at a University Teaching Hospital in Nepal


Background: Gastric cancer is the most common gastrointestinal cancer and a leading cause of cancermortality in Nepal. Survival of gastric cancer patients depends on the stage at which diagnosis is made. Theaim of this study was to analyze the presentation and outcomes of gastric cancer patients treated at a tertiarycare hospital in Nepal. Materials and
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 140 consecutive histologically provengastric adenocarcinoma cases managed at the Department of Surgery, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital,Kathmandu, Nepal for the period of January 2009 to December 2013 was carried out.
Results: One hundred fortyout of the total 186 patients with histologically proven gastric adenocarcinoma, were admitted for surgery. Themean age was 59.6±12.4 yrs (range 29 to 78 yrs) and the male: female ratio was 2:1. Sixty three (45%) patientsfeatured Tibeto-Burman descent though this ethnic group accounts for only 18% of the Nepalese population.Two-thirds or more patients presented with abdominal pain, anorexia, weight loss and/or vomiting. In 86(61.5%) of the patients the tumor was located in the lower 3rd of the stomach and in only 15% of the patientsthe tumor was located at the upper 3rd. Early gastric cancer was diagnosed postoperatively in only 4%. In54%, the disease was locally advanced and metastatic lesions were found in 14% of the patients. Subtotal (73)or total (11) curative gastrectomies (D1, D1+ or D2) were performed in 84 (60%) patients with average lymphnode retrieval of 16.6±8.2. Palliative gastrectomies or procedures were performed in 23% of the patients andno intervention (open & close/biopsy) was employed in 15% of the patients. Perioperative morbidity was seenin 10% and mortality in 4%. Three, four and five year survival rates up to the recent follow-up were 17.9%,11.9% and 8.3%, respectively.
Conclusions: Gastric cancer in Nepal is usually diagnosed at an advanced stageand has a poor prognosis. Thus, early detection is the key to improve the survival of gastric cancer patients.