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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 245-250

The Pattern of Chest Radiographs findings in Metastatic Cancer Patients seen in a Tertiary Hospital in Northern Nigeria

1 Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Radiology Department, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi -Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Radiotherapy Department, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S A Adewuyi
Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims and Objectives: To evaluate the pattern of chest radiographs findings in metastatic cancer patients at first presentation in a tertiary hospital in northern Nigeria with a view to contributing to existing literature and making recommendation for optimal patients care in Nigerian hospitals. Patients and Methods : From January 2002 to December 2007, 712 new patients were seen and 688 patients' chest radiographs excluding children (below 16 yr) were reviewed of which 118 were considered abnormal due to pathology arising from primary cancer. Those Chest radiographs showing pathology not related to cancer were excluded. Results were analysed using EPI-Info, version 3.4.1. 2007. Results : 118 (17%) patients' chest radiographs (CXR) were having evidence of metastases from primary cancer. The sex ratio is M: F = 1: 1.7 with a mean age of 48.1 years (Range 16 - 82 yrs). Breast cancer was the commonest cause of metastatic spread to the lungs seen in 44 (37.3%) patients followed by colorectal 10 (8.5%), soft tissue sarcoma 9 (7.6%), and bone sarcoma 8 (6.8%). Cervical cancer which was the commonest type of malignancies seen at presentation accounted only for 8 (6.7%) cases. Both lungs were involved in 62 (52.5%) patients, followed by right lung alone in 42 (35.6%) cases and left lung alone in 14 (11.9%) cases. The mid zone was the commonest site of lung metastases 102 (86.4%) followed by lower zone 42 (35.6%). Pleural effusion seen in 26 (22%) patients affected both lungs equally. Multiple lung metastases were the predominant pattern of metastases seen in 94 (80%) cases. Majority 82 (69.5%) of lungs metastases were of sizes less than 2cm. Conclusion: Multiple lung metastases were the commonest pattern of lung metastases. Both lungs and mid zone were mainly affected. Lung metastases were very common from breast, colorectal, bone sarcoma, prostate cancers but relatively rare from cervical, head and Neck cancers and lymphomas. Chest radiographs should be part of initial evaluation of all cancer patients.

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