Gastric cancer features and outcomes at a tertiary teaching hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A 5-year retrospective study

  • Hailu W. Gebresillasse
  • Girmaye Tamrat
  • Tewodros Abule
Keywords: gastric cancer, Ethiopia


Background: There is abundant literature about gastric cancers in the west and Asia but there are only a few published studies from Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular. This study aimed to determine the pattern of patients seen in GI surgery unit with gastric cancers in the department of surgery at TikurAnbessa tertiary teaching hospital in Ethiopia.

Methods: This was a 5-year retrospective review of patients seen with a diagnosis of gastric cancer to Tikur Anbessa tertiary teaching hospital. All patients whose medical records could be retrieved and with biopsy proven gastric cancer were included in the study. Socio-demographic data, risk factors, type of cancer, part of stomach involved, operability, type of surgery and outcome analyzed. SPSS version 23 were used for analysis.

Results: We were able to retrieve the files of 95 patients seen and managed in GI surgery unit of the department of surgery during the study period. 54 (56.8%) were males, nearly a quarter (23.2%) were below the age of 45 years. Weight loss, epigastric pain and vomiting were the most common presenting complaint and anaemia and abdominal mass were the two most common findings on examination. The antrum and pylorus were the most common sites. Although 60% were adenocarcinomas, gastrointestinal stromal disease and lymphomas account for 19% and 8% respectively. Only 38 (40%) underwent either palliative or curative surgery. There were 4 postoperative deaths and making postoperative mortality 10.5%.

Conclusions: A significant percentage of patients with gastric cancer seen in our institution are younger and malignant GIST and lymphoma are commoner than expected. Most patients were not candidates’ even palliative surgery. A well-designed prospective study would more clearly elucidate the magnitude of the problem.

Original Research