Clinicopathological guide to malignant bone tumours: A retrospective analysis of the cancer registry at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in northern Tanzania|
Samoyo, Pamela T.K.; Nkya, Gilbert Z.; Minja, Fred G. & Temu, Rogers J.
Background: Primary neoplasms of the skeleton are rare. This study aimed at determining
the spectrum of different malignant bone tumours at a tertiary hospital cancer registry in
the Northern Zone of Tanzania, along with related symptoms, clinical presentations, and
clinical diagnosis accuracy (using histology as the standard).
Methods: This retrospective study reviewed bone specimen records in the cancer registry at
Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Tanzania, for the period from 1 January
1998-31 December 2012. Patient information for corresponding cancer registry records was
traced from hospital files and x-ray reports. Data were analysed using a mixed quantitative
and qualitative approach.
Results: Two hundred twenty-five malignant bone tumours were recorded at KCMC Cancer
Registry over a period of 14 years. Seventy-five with adequate records were analysed. Fortyseven
patients (62.7%) were male. Mean age was 34.1 (standard deviation 20) years. The
femur was affected in 26 cases (34.7%). Osteosarcoma (22 cases; 29.3%) was the most
common malignant bone tumour. Clinicians correctly preliminarily diagnosed multiple
myeloma, osteosarcoma, and ameloblastoma, but had inexperience with carcinomas and
other types of sarcomas. Chronic osteomyelitis and metastatic lesions were mentioned
frequently by radiologists as the diagnosis of some malignant bone tumours that turned out
to be carcinomas or sarcomas on histology.
Conclusions: Clinician and radiologist training of other types of malignant bone tumours
other than multiple myeloma, osteosarcoma, and ameloblastoma is required. An
Orthopaedic Biopsy Form (OBF) was developed to address high loss to follow-up (66.7%).
malignant bone tumours; cancer registry; KCMC