Delayed Presentation of Patients with Gynaecological Malignancies in Kano, North-Western Nigeria


The diagnosis and management of gynaecological cancers are still challenging in low- and middle-income countries. In patients with gynaecological malignancies delay at any point increases morbidity and mortality. This study evaluated the factors that may delay presentation, diagnosis and treatment of patients with malignant gynaecological cancers, and described the duration of each delay. It was a prospective cross-sectional study. A total number of 96 patients diagnosed to have gynaecological malignancy were enrolled in the study between the April 2014 and April 2015. The median age was 47.5 years (range of 18 - 84 years). The diagnoses on admission were cervical malignancy 34 (35.42%), ovarian malignancy 32 (33.33%), chorio carcinoma 15 (15.63%), cancers of uterine body (endometrial and leiomyosarcoma) 10 (10.42%) and vulval malignancies 5 (5.2%). Majority of the patients 65 (67.7%) presented late at either stage III or IV. At presentation, 36 patients (37.5%) had severe anaemia; 10 patients (10.41%) had obstructive uropathy; 3 (3.13%) developed fistula; 19 (19.79%) died on admission from complication of their disease. Most patients 61 (63.54%) had delayed presentation of more than 90 days (“patients delay”). Time in decision ranged between 3 days to maximum of 2920 days and median of 150 days. 58 (60.42%) gave a reason for such delay as lack of knowledge of their presenting symptoms, as a warning sign of possible malignancy; 80 (83.33%) had delay in diagnosis (“doctor delay”); 40 (41.67%) reported that the medical practitioner did not make referral to the center with available gynaecological services; “hospital delay” was observed in 66 (68.75%) of patients. The reason for delayed treatment in 35 (36.46%) of patients was severe patients condition that warrant stabilization (blood transfusion and dialysis) and 29 (30.21%) could not afford the treatment. Late presentation is a great problem in the management of oncological patients in this environment. High cost of care is the major challenge for the patients and gynaecologist in north-western part of Nigeria.

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Adamou, N. and Umar, U. (2015) Delayed Presentation of Patients with Gynaecological Malignancies in Kano, North-Western Nigeria. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 333-340. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2015.56048.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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