Retrospective analysis of radiotherapy outcomes in breast cancer radiotherapy at a single institution

M Heunis, Dorothy C Lombe, M McCaul


Introduction: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide. With the challenges of cancer treatment in developing countries there is a need for a systematic and methodical approach to treatment in resource-limited settings.

Objective: To retrospectively evaluate the profile of breast cancer patients irradiated with curative intent and discuss the therapeutic outcomes, and to compare this cohort with the available developed-world data.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of 689 breast cancer patients from 2010–2014 at Tygerberg Hospital, Western Cape Province was analysed. The best-case disease-free survival was calculated at five years and compared with the SEER database. Various prognostic factors were calculated by univariate and multivariate analysis.

Results: The five-year best-case disease-free survival (DFS) for Stage I is 94.7% (95% CI 68–99) and for Stage IIIC, 71.3% (95% CI 39–88).

Conclusion: Outcomes of treatment at this institution are comparable to data reported in first-world countries. As two-dimensional radiotherapy compares with most Cobalt specifications, the majority of breast cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa can be treated efficiently with Cobalt-type technology.

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South Afr J Gynaecol Oncol 2018; DOI: 10.1080/20742835.2018.1429521


Breast cancer; radiotherapy

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South Afr J Gynaecol Oncol: ISSN (Print): 2074-2835, ISSN (Web): 2220-105X

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