A review of the patterns of Primary malignant bone tumours seen at The University of Zambia
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This was a retrospective cross-sectional survey of patients who presented to The University Teaching Hospital with histologically confirmed primary malignant bone tumours from the 1st of January 2008 to the 31st of December 2012. There were a total of hundred and fifty three (153) patients seen in total. Sixty six (43%) were females while 87 (57%) were males. The youngest patient was three years while the oldest patient was 78 years old. The average age of the patients was 31.6 years. Almost 69% of the patients were aged 40 years and below.The age distribution of primary malignant bone tumours showed a bimodal pattern of distribution with 35.1% of the patients having presented with tumour between the ages of 11 to 20 years; the second peak was observed between the ages of 51 to 60 years involving 10.6% of the patients with primary malignant bone tumours. The majority (35%) of the patients came from Lusaka Province, while the least came from North Western Province (2.0%). The highest number of patients (thirty nine) (25.5%) was recorded in 2012 and the lowest number 20 (13%) was recorded in 2011.Based National Cancer Registry data, from 2008 to 2011, the overall proportion of patients with primary malignant bone tumours compared to all the other cancers recorded at UTH ranged between 1.7 to 2.8%. The majority, eighty-four (55.3%), of the patients had osteosarcoma, followed, in descending order, by multiple myeloma 42 (27.6%), chondrosarcoma 11 (7.2%), Ewing’s sarcoma 8(5.3%), fibrosarcoma 3 (2.0%) and lymphoma 2 (1.3%). The majority of patients (35.5%) reported pain and swelling alone as a presenting complaint. 19.8% of the patients presented with pathological fractures. The single and most commonly reported anatomic site was from multiple myeloma which has a general skeletal involvement (27%); the second most commonly involved site was the femur 23.7%, followed by the tibia 17.1%, and the humerus 7.5%. Notwithstanding the inconclusive nature of the information on geographic distribution of tumours, the findings in the study paralleled those reported in literature.
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