By Maore Ithula
Throat cancer is the most common cancer in men in western Kenya, a new study finds.
In a report released two months ago, researchers at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Eldoret, also found that the disease is third most common cancer in women. Throat cancers are malignant tumours of the oesophagus — gullet and throat.
This study involved a review of 468 patients whose pathology reports were available beginning January 1994 up to May 2001 at the hospital.
All reports of oesophageal cancers were then separated and analysed according to gender, age and ethnical background. It was easy to monitor the trend of this diseases because the hospital has a cancer registry which was established in 1999 with the support of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France.
One of they symptoms of the cancer is difficulty in swallowing and pain. The disease that can only be diagnosed by biopsy — surgical removal of the tissue of the affected area for scrutiny in the laboratory — is generally associated with the tobacco and alcohol.
Doctors Johnston Wakhisi, Kritika Patel andNathan Buziba conducted the study, and Joseph Rotich finds a male to female affliction ratio of 1.5:1.
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"Our findings also contrast with an earlier study that indicated that Rift Valley is a low prevalence area for this type of cancer," reports the study
The research established that patients who suffer from oesophageal cancer in western Kenya have an average age of 59. "The 468 cases of oesophageal cancer seen during this period accounted for 13.8 per cent of the total cancer cases (3,400) seen from January 1994 to May 2001.