Survival Analysis of Cancer Patients in North Eastern Nigeria from 2004 â€“ 2017 â€“ A Kaplan - Meier Method
BACKGROUND: Cancer is a deadly malignant disease and is prevalent in Sub Saharan Africa. The North East part of Nigeria in particular and the country, in general, are struggling to cope with the increasing burden of cancer and other communicable and non-communicable diseases. The situation is worsened by the ongoing insurgency and terrorist activities in the area.
AIM: The aim of this paper is to present the research findings from a cohort study aimed at the analysis of the estimation of the survivorship time of the real data of cancer patients in the North-eastern part of Nigeria and to establish if the insurgency in the region has contributed negatively to the life expectancy of its inhabitants.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The record of 1,090 patients from medical records departments of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), located in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State in northeast Nigeria was obtained. The record showed patients that were diagnosed and died of one type of cancer or the other from 2004 to 2017. All the cancer cases included in the present study were grouped into sex, age, marital status, occupation, date admitted and date of death/discharge. Descriptive statistics and Kaplan-Meier method were used to analyse the data using SPSS version 23 while Microsoft EXCEL and Minitab 16.0 were used for data cleansing and organisation.
RESULTS: Of the 1,090 patients analysed, 920 (84.40%) experienced the event, i.e. death, while 170 (15.60%) patients were censored. The data were analysed based on the ages and sex of the patients. 50.20% of the patients were of ages 21-50 years. The proportions of patients in this age bracket surviving past 7 days are 75%, while those between ages 80 years and above is 12 days. Others are of survival time of 5 days (ages 0-20 years) and 7 days (51-79 years). Using sex, 75% of the patientsâ€™ survival time is 7 days in the case of male and 6 days for females. It is safe to say that the survival time for cancer patients of the university the Maiduguri is 6 days and the result reflects the Northeastern part of Nigeria. This is because the hospital is one of few tertiary healthcare facilities in that area and consequently, cancer cases are often referred there.
CONCLUSION: Cancer incidence is high, and the probability of survival reduces as the survival time increases. This is a dire situation in need of urgent intervention from the government, groups and individuals to tackle the scourge of cancer, thereby improving on the life expectancy battered by the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in that region.
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