Bull Cancer. 1995 Sep; 82(9): 724-7.
[Social, economical and educational causes of late diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Cameroon]
Service de radiothÃ©rapie, facultÃ© de mÃ©decine et des sciences biomÃ©dicales, universitÃ© de YaoundÃ©, Cameroun.
The aim of the study was the identification of the social, economical and educational causes of late diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Cameroon. The interview of 200 consecutive patients with histologically proven cancer was performed between November 1988 and November 1990 in the Department of Radiotherapy at the University of YaoundÃ© Hospital. The interview followed a pre-written questionnaire. There were 12% early stages and 88% advanced diseases. The median time interval between the first symptom and the first consultation was 10 months (extremes: 3 weeks-5 years). The median time interval between first consultation and diagnosis was two months (extremes: 7 days-7 years). Finally the time interval between diagnosis and treatment was one month (extremes: 7 days-3 months). The major reasons for consultation delay were: cost, inaccessibility of health structures, ignorance, fear and attempts of traditional medicine. The major causes of diagnosis delay were cost of procedures and misdiagnosis. The reasons for late treatment were the cost of treatment and lack of confidence of patients on treatment results. It is concluded that advances in cancer treatment results in Cameroon require educational efforts, health care reorganization, and development of regional and international cooperation.