Descriptive epidemiology of neoplastic breast lesions and molecular characteristics of breast cancer in Ghana

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Breast cancer is emerging as a major health problem in Ghana. It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in Ghana. Its nationwide prevalence in Ghana was unknown at the time of this study (2004 -2008). Surgical oncologists reported a low response rate to anti-oestrogen therapy and survival for breast cancer in Ghana. Objective Investigating the descriptive epidemiology of neoplastic breast lesions and profiling clinically important biomolecules of breast cancer in Ghana, forms the core objective of this research work. Method Over 44,482 females were screened manually for neoplastic breast lesions and educated on breast cancer with a view to enhance early detection. Hence, no rigid selection criteria for subjects were employed during the study period; 2004 to 2008. A new device called the Breastlight; was evaluated as a novel adjunct to early detection of tumour related angiogenesis from 2007 – 2008. Archival Breast cancer specimen (N=33) were analysed for clinically important bio-molecules. These were obtained at random from breast cancer patients seen at leading hospitals. Oestrogen receptor (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PR), HER-2 and Ki67 levels in Paraffin embedded breast cancer specimen were assayed using the Immunohistochemical (IHC) method. Existing data on ER/PR (N=228) from leading hospitals was reviewed.
A thesis presented to the Department Of Molecular Medicine, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, 2013