Full Length Research Paper
Cancer, especially in children is a public health problem in Cameroon. Suspected cases in the centre are biopsied and analysed in the Pathology Service of the Yaounde General Hospital. To find out the clinico-pathologic profile of patients seen at the centre, Clinical and Pathology registers of the two services were reviewed in this retrospective 3 years study from 2005 to 2007 and the data were analyzed. 350 specimens were analyzed in 3 years giving an annual average of 117.78.57% showed malignancy, 13.35% non-neoplastic diseases and 8.08% benign tumours. 55.7% were males, against 44.3% females. The predominant age group in both sexes was 5 to 14 years with peak at 5 to 9 years. The main diagnosis were Burkitt’s lymphoma (40.86% of Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) diagnosis, 52% of all malignancies and 54.79% of lymphomas). It is localised in the maxilllo-facial region (71%), abdomino-pelvic organs (17%) and eye (5%). Non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (38.91%) was second commonest and the predominant type of NHL is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoblastic lymphoma (26.29%). Among the cancers are rare malignancies that include nephroblastomas (0.73%), neuroblastomas (0.36%), Kaposi sarcoma (1.09%) hepatocellular carcinoma (0.36%) and soft tissue sarcomas (1.82%). Diagnosis was by fine-needle aspiration cytology (97.5%). The study reveal that childhood tumours are not rare in Cameroon. The commonest pathology seen at the Haemato-Oncology Service of the Chantal Biya Foundation is a lymphoma, mainly a Burkitt’s. Late and adolescent childhood age groups are mostly affected. The pilot centre statistics reflect trends and patterns of pediatric cancers nationally. More indepth studies are recommended.
Key words: Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) diagnosis, Cameroon, childhood cancers.
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