Original Research

Review of radiation oncology emergencies in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Bolanle C. Adegboyega, Anthonia C. Sowunmi, Adewunmi O. Alabi, Oludoyinmola O. Ojifinni, Adeniyi A. Adenipekun
South African Journal of Oncology | Vol 3 | a66 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajo.v3i0.66 | © 2019 Bolanle C. Adegboyega, Anthonia C. Sowunmi, Adewunmi O. Alabi, Oludoyinmola O. Ojifinni, Adeniyi A. Adenipeku | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 2018 | Published: 11 July 2019

About the author(s)

Bolanle C. Adegboyega, Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Anthonia C. Sowunmi, Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Adewunmi O. Alabi, Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Oludoyinmola O. Ojifinni, Department of Community Health, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Adeniyi A. Adenipekun, Department of Radiation and Clinical Oncology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: Radiation oncology emergencies (ROEs) are common in metastatic or locally advanced cancer accounting for a large proportion of radiotherapy indications in poor resource settings.

Aim: To review pattern, presentation and outcome of ROEs in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and compare with an earlier study in the northern part of the country for possible geographical variation.

Setting: A retrospective review of ROE record from 2008 to 2016 in LUTH.

Method: Demographic data, clinical presentation, treatment and outcomes were analysed using charts and frequency tables.

Results: Total of 458 cases of oncologic emergencies were reviewed. The mean age was 52.3 years with a male-to-female ratio of 1:2.2. The majority (85%) of the patients presented in stage IV, 10% stage III and 5% stage II diseases. Spinal cord compression was the commonest presentation seen in 53.9% of cases, brain metastases in 22.1% of patients and tumour haemorrhage in 22.5% of patients. Time from the onset of symptoms to treatment was between 24 and 48 h in 16.4%, > 48 h to 1 week in 64.4% and above 1 week in 19.2%. There was a complete or significant response in signs and symptoms in 77%, no improvement in 11% and 1.1% had disease progression.

Conclusion: This study showed a varied pattern of presentation in ROEs from what was obtained in northern Nigeria, with spinal cord compression being the commonest in south west Nigeria. Despite a delayed onset in treatment, radiation therapy is vital in oncology emergencies management. There is a need for accessible functional radiotherapy centres in Nigeria to combat the delays in commencing treatment.


Keywords

radiation; oncology; emergencies; pattern; outcome; Nigeria

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