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Cancer now the second top killer disease in the country after infectious diseases – NCI report

                                                                                                                                            Top five counties with the highest proportion of cancer cases as reported to the registry were Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos and Nyeri.

By Kayugira Dante and Yvonne Chebeni, Kakamega

Cancer is the second most leading non communicable diseases in the country at the moment.

The latest reort from the National Cancer Institute (NCI_K) shows that breast cancer is the most prevalent at 15.9 per cen followed by cervical cancer at 13.3 per cent and cancer of the oesophagus at 11.8 per cent.

Prostate and colorectal cancers were the 4th and 5th most commonly reported cancers accounting for 10.1 per cent and 7.1 per cent of the total disease burden respectively.

When the burden is disaggregated by sex, the most common cancers among men are prostate followed by oesophagus and colorectal 23.7 per cent, 15.9 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively.

The most common for women are breast followed by cervical and oesophagus at 26.5 per cent, 23.2 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively.

The median age at which cancer diagnosis is confirmed and reported was 53 years for females and 62 years in males. For both sexes, 25 per cent of all cancers were diagnosed between ages 0 to 29 years.

Cancer is rapidly an emerging matter in the public health concern in Kenya. In Kenya cancer is one of the causes of death after infectious diseases and cardiovascular NCDs.

The risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 years in Kenya is 18 per cent among women and 14.3 per cent among men while the risk of dying from cancer by the same age is 12.7 per cent in women compared with 10.3 per cent in men.

In November 2022, Data on availability of cancer screening services was derived from the National Health Facility Assessment Survey which adopted the descriptive approach while the data on cancer treatment services were drawn from the national database designated cancer treatment centers.

Female breast

According to the report, a total of 7502 cancer cases were registered from 42 facilities during the July 2021- June 2022 period. Of these cases, 6778 were included for analysis, based on the completeness and quality of data.

In the 2021/2022 report data analysis was conducted and the findings were as follows:

Out of the 6778 cancer cases analyzed, 2892 (42.6 per cent) cancers were reported to be males and 3886 (57.4 per cent) were reported to be females. Childhood cancer cases (0-18years) accounted for two percent of all cancer reported to the National Cancer Registry.

The median age of cancer diagnosis was 53 year for the females and 62 years for the males. The highest proportion of reported cancer cases across age groups differed between males (65-69 years) and for females (45-49 years).

Dr Githinji Gitahi- Chairman-National Cancer Institute -Kenya

Leukemia is the most reported childhood cancer (15 per cent), followed by brain tumor (11 per cent) and lymphoma (10 per cent).

Close to half (46 per cent) of cancer cases were advanced stages of diagnosis and data from the advanced stages which was not recorded in approximately were as follows a third (36 per cent) of females and (46 per cent) of males.

Top five counties with the highest proportion of cancer cases as reported to the registry were Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos and Nyeri.

The most reported comorbidities of cancer patients were Hypertension, Diabetes and HIV.

The leading cancer deaths were esophagus cancer patients with (15.6 per cent) deaths, followed by cervix uteri cancer with 10.4 per cent deaths, breast cancer 9.6 per cent deaths and liver cancer 9.1 per cent deaths.

A fifth (20.7 per cent) of the cancer deaths among men were attributed esophageal cancer while in women a fifth (19.6 per cent) were attributed to cervical cancer.






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