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Predictors of Locally Advanced Disease at Presentation and Clinical Outcomes Among Cervical Cancer Patients Admitted at a Tertiary Hospital in Botswana
  1. Mercy Nkuba Nassali, MMed*,
  2. Melese Tadele, MMed*,
  3. Robert Michael Nkuba, MSc,
  4. Jamieson Modimowame, MBBS,
  5. Iwuh Enyeribe, MMed* and
  6. Edwin Katse, MBBS
  1. *Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine; and
  2. Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana; and
  3. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone, Botswana.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Nassali Mercy Nkuba, MMed, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Private bag 00713, Gaborone, Botswana. E-mail:


Objectives The aim of this study was to determine predictors of locally advanced disease at presentation and clinical outcomes among cervical cancer patients in Botswana to inform interventional strategies.

Methods Retrospective review of 149 medical records of new cervical cancer patients was conducted between August 2016 and February 2017 at the Princess Marina Hospital. Data collected included sociodemographics, presenting symptoms, stage of disease, comorbidities, interventions, and clinical outcomes. STATA 12 was used for data analysis. Frequencies were used to describe patient demographics and clinical variables. Bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analyses were used to determine association between stage of disease at presentation and patient characteristics. P ⩽ 0.05 was considered significant.

Results Mean age was 49.5 years. Nine (89.2%) in 10 patients had locally advanced cervical cancer (stage IB1–IVB). Two thirds (65.1%) were human immunodeficiency virus positive. Previous cervical cancer screening was low at 38.3%. Common symptoms were abnormal vaginal bleeding, low abdominal pain, and malodorous vaginal discharge reported among 75.8%, 66.4%, and 39.6% of cases, respectively. Overall, 32 (21.5%) were declared cured, 52 (34.9%) improved, and 11 (7.4%) opted for home-based care. Hospital deaths were 41 (27.5%). Major causes of death were renal failure (48.7%) and severe anemia (39%). Thirteen (8.7%) were lost to follow-up. Being unmarried (odds ratio [OR], 3.9), lack of cervical cancer screening (OR, 6.68), presentation with vaginal bleeding (OR, 7.69), and low abdominal pain (OR, 4.69) were associated with advanced disease at presentation.

Conclusions Lack of cervical cancer screening, vaginal bleeding, low abdominal pain, and unmarried status were associated with advanced disease at presentation. We recommend scale-up of cervical cancer screening and its integration into routine human immunodeficiency virus care. Capacity building in gynecologic oncology and palliative care services is currently critical.

  • Clinical outcomes
  • Locally advanced cervical cancer
  • Predictors

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

  • Author contributions: M.N.N. conceived and designed the study. M.N.N., M.T., J.M., E.K., and I.E. collected the data. R.M.N. analyzed the data. M.N.N. wrote the manuscript, and M.T. and R.M.N. made critical revisions. All authors approved the final manuscript.