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Abstract

Background: The identification of the magnitude and pattern of cancer is the first step in determining clues to the cause(s) of cancer and in having a baseline to plan and assess control measures.

Aim of Study: The aim of this study is to explore magnitude, pattern and some epidemiological aspects in relation to cancer in palliative cases at a tertiary care level hospital.

Methodology: This study has been conducted at King Fahad Specialist Hospital (KFSH) in Dammam City. Data collection was based on the hospital’s electronic records for palliative patients admitted during 2014, 2015 and the first half of 2016.       

Results: Cancer colon, cancer breast lung cancer, cancer pancreas, cancer stomach, leukemia and gall bladder cancer occupy the highest proportions among patients admitted to the KFSH. The proportion of patients with cancer colon showed a slight decline from 2014 to 2016 (17.3%, 10.4% and 11.5%, respectively), while that for breast cancer showed a slight increase (15.9%, 15.7% and 18.4%, respectively). The incidence of medication toxicity among palliative patients admitted to KFSH decreased from 12.9% in 2014 to 5.3% in 2015. Most cancer patients admitted to KFSH during 2014 till 2016 could be maintained at no pain levels during their treatment period. However, some patients had exhausting pain, with decreasing proportions from 2014 till 2016 (6.7%, 5.1% and 4.3%, respectively). About one fourth of patients died (24.3%, 26.3% and 26%, respectively).

Conclusions: The highest proportions of cancer patients attending the KFSH are related to colon, breast, lung, pancreas, stomach, leukaemia and gall bladder. Control of pain and treatment toxicity is quite successful, while in all-palliative cases fatality is quite high.

Recommendations: Exploring the magnitude, pattern and other epidemiological aspects in relation to cancer cases for palliative patient at KFSH should be extended for the coming years and to investigate the reasons that would explain the high proportions of certain types of cancer among attending patients.

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