Breast Cancer Diagnostics, Therapy, and Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Population-Based Registry Study.
Joko-Fru WY., Griesel M., Mezger NCS., Hämmerl L., Seraphin TP., Feuchtner J., Wabinga H., N'da G., Mathewos A., Kamaté B., Nsonde Malanda J., Gnangnon FHR., Chesumbai GC., Korir A., Lorenzoni C., Zietsman A., Borok MZ., Liu B., Thomssen C., McGale P., Jemal A., Parkin DM., Kantelhardt EJ.
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, little is known about the actual therapy received by women with BC and their survival outcome at the population level in SSA. This study aims to describe the cancer-directed therapy received by patients with BC at the population level in SSA, compare these results with the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines for SSA (NCCN Harmonized Guidelines), and evaluate the impact on survival. METHODS: Random samples of patients with BC (≥40 patients per registry), diagnosed from 2009 through 2015, were drawn from 11 urban population-based cancer registries from 10 countries (Benin, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe). Active methods were used to update the therapy and outcome data of diagnosed patients ("traced patients"). Excess hazards of death by therapy use were modeled in a relative survival context. RESULTS: A total of 809 patients were included. Additional information was traced for 517 patients (63.8%), and this proportion varied by registry. One in 5 traced patients met the minimum diagnostic criteria (cancer stage and hormone receptor status known) for use of the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines. The hormone receptor status was unknown for 72.5% of patients. Of the traced patients with stage I-III BC (n=320), 50.9% received inadequate or no cancer-directed therapy. Access to therapy differed by registry area. Initiation of adequate therapy and early-stage diagnosis were the most important determinants of survival. CONCLUSIONS: Downstaging BC and improving access to diagnostics and care are necessary steps to increase guideline adherence and improve survival for women in SSA. It will also be important to strengthen health systems and facilities for data management in SSA to facilitate patient follow-up and disease surveillance.