Oesophageal squamous cell cancer in a South African tertiary hospital: a risk factor and presentation analysis.
Loots E., Sartorius B., Madiba TE., Mulder CJJ., Clarke DL.
BackgroundSquamous carcinoma of the oesophagus (SCO) is the most common form of oesophageal cancer in South Africa (SA). Risk factors include male gender, smoking, alcohol consumption and low socio-economic status (SES). This study assessed the risk factors for SCO in KwaZulu-Natal.MethodInformation on patients managed at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), Durban, South Africa, between 1 October 2013 and 31 December 2014 was retrieved from a prospective database of Oesophageal Cancer (OC). Data collected included demographics, risk factors, symptoms and clinical findings.ResultsOne hundred and fifty-nine patients (159) with SCO were identified. The site of tumour location was in the middle 96 (60.4%), distal 42(26.4%) and proximal 17(10.6%) oesophagus. The male to female ratio was 1:1 with an age range of 22-93 years (mean 60.6; SD±12.1). Females were significantly older than males (p = 0.018). Eighty-eight per cent were Black African. Dysphagia was reported in 158 (99.4%) of patients and loss of weight in 149(95.5%). Thirty-six patients were HIV positive (age 52.8; SD±9.7) and significantly younger than those without HIV infection (age 61.2; SD±11.5). Most patients had low SES and poor dental health. Male patients were significantly more likely to use tobacco (p < 0.001; Odds Ratio (OR) 7.8) and consume alcohol (p < 0.001; OR 7.7) than females who were 2.5 times more likely to report a family history of cancer (p = 0.017; OR 2.6).ConclusionAn equal gender distribution was observed. Male patients with SCO reported the expected risk factors; however these were not observed amongst women. SES may contribute to the development of SCO. Poor dental health may be a surrogate marker for low SES and a possible risk factor for SCO. HIV positive individuals present a decade younger when compared with HIV negative patients.