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Schistosomiasis and Urinary Bladder Cancer in North Western Tanzania: A Retrospective Review of 185 Patients.

Rambau, P. F., Chalya, P. L. and Jackson, K. (2013) Schistosomiasis and Urinary Bladder Cancer in North Western Tanzania: A Retrospective Review of 185 Patients. Infectious agents and cancer, 8 (1). p. 19. ISSN 1750-9378

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Worldwide, cancers of the urinary bladder are well known to be associated with environmental chemical carcinogens such as smoking and occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These cancers are typically transitional cell carcinoma (urothelial carcinoma). In areas where schistosomiasis is endemic there is a high incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder. Schistosomiasis causes chronic granulomatous cystitis leading to squamous metaplasia of transitional epithelium, and subsequently development of squamous cell carcinoma. The western part of Tanzania on the shores of Lake Victoria is such an endemic area. This study was done to document the burden of urinary bladder cancer associated with schistosomiasis in this region. This was a descriptive retrospective study of histologically confirmed cases of urinary bladder cancer seen at the Department of Pathology Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) over a period of 10 years. Data were retrieved from the records of the Departments of Pathology, Medical Records and Surgery. Data were analyzed by the use of contingency tables. A total of 185 patients were diagnosed with cancer of the urinary bladder during the study period, where as 90 (48.6%) were males and 95 (51.4) were females. The mean age at diagnosis was 54.3 years. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most frequent histological type (55.1%), followed by conventional transitional cell carcinoma (40.5%). Eighty three of all cancer cases (44.9%) were found to have schistosomal eggs. Schistosomiasis was commonly associated with squamous cancers compared to non squamous cancers. Most of the cancers associated with schistosomiasis had invaded the muscularis propria of the urinary bladder at the time of diagnosis (p<0.001) and such cancers were frequent below 50 years of age with a significant statistical difference (p<0.001). Poorly differentiated tumors were more frequent in females than males with a significant statistical difference (p=0.006). The majority of urinary bladder cancers seen in the Lake Region were squamous cell carcinoma associated with schistosomiasis. These cancers showed an aggressive behavior and were commonly seen in the younger age groups. Effective control of schistosomiasis in this region should significantly reduce the burden of urinary bladder cancer.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Schistosomiasis, Urinary Bladder Cancer, Northwestern Tanzania
Subjects: Non-communicable disease (NCD) > Cancer
Divisions: Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS)
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2013 10:09
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2013 10:09

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