PURPOSE We investigated the impact of screening rural patients on referral and management of cervical cancer in Tanzania. METHODS After reviewing more than 10,000 medical records of patients with cervical cancer who visited Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) from 2005 to 2014, 108 patients were from the rural communities of Bagamoyo and Chalinze. We abstracted demographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors and linked the data set to databases of all 1,151 patients who visited the Bagamoyo screening clinic from 2011 to 2014 and 1,273 patients who visited the Chalinze screening clinic from 2012 to 2014. RESULTS After initiation of the rural screening clinics, difference in duration from diagnosis to prescribed treatment increased from 50.5 to 88 days (P = .030), and duration from referral to treatment increased from 38.6 to 101.3 days (P = .041). Proportion of patients who received combination chemoradiotherapy increased from 34.3% to 69% (P = .001) and completion of treatment decreased from 94.4% to 72.41% (P = .002) after initiation of the ORCI screening clinic. Patients who visited Muhimbili National Hospital had significantly shorter periods between referral and prescribed treatment than patients who did not use the Muhimbili National Hospital (mean 6 standard deviation, 49.4 6 128.8 and 112.1 6 195.31 days, respectively; P = .010). Patients who were treated at ORCI had significantly shorter periods between diagnosis and referral to treatment (mean 6 standard deviation, 31.4 6 62.35 and 36.4 6 121.79 days, respectively; P = .005). CONCLUSION Future research should focus on investigating barriers to seeking cancer care, benefits of chemoradiotherapy in this population considering the change in prescribed treatment, and time until diagnosis and treatment. Prescription of complex treatments that require more visits to treatment centers may also contribute to decline in completion of treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research