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March 2015 – Investigating the clinical profile of the most common female cancer in Africa, Malawian women with breast cancer were found to be young, have long symptom duration prior to diagnosis, and exhibit poorly differentiated tumors.

Pathologically confirmed breast cancer in Malawi: a descriptive study: Clinical profile of breast cancer

R E. Kohler, A Moses, R Krysiak, N. G Liomba, S Gopal

Malawi Medical Journal

Full text available at PubMed Central



Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Africa, yet no published studies have investigated breast cancer in Malawi. Understanding the clinical profile of breast cancer is important to develop early diagnosis efforts.

To describe clinical and pathological characteristics of breast specimens from a pathology laboratory at a national teaching hospital.

Secondary analysis of pathology reports from July 2011 to September 2013.

Among 85 breast cancer cases, 55% were < 50 years. Median tumor size was 4 cm and 49% were grade 3. Median symptom duration was eight months.

Malawian women with breast cancer commonly have long symptom durations prior to diagnosis, young age, and poorly differentiated tumors. Improved clinical and pathological characterization, including hormone receptor status, are urgently needed to better understand this disease in Malawi.