A Retrospective Study of the Clinical, Radiological, and Pathological Features and Sociodemographic Correlates of Lung Cancer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Matthew Cohen

Name: Matthew Cohen
School: Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Class of 2022. Varmus Global Scholar 2019
Mentor: Neil Schluger, MD


This study aimed to collect data on sociodemographics, risk factors, histopathology, and staging of lung cancer in Ethiopia to better understand cancer classification and progression. Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, but there is no nationwide Ethiopian cancer registry. A previous study found roughly 1.5% of all Ethiopian cancers involved the lung*. A retrospective cohort study was conducted at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) among patients with histopathologically-confirmed primary lung cancer diagnosed from 2011 to 2018 (n=146). Among 146 patients were 90 men and 56 women (mean age: 54.10), of which 25.3% had a prior history of smoking. 57.9% presented with stage IV cancer and 10.0% with stage III. The most common histopathological classifications were adenocarcinoma (33.6%), and squamous cell carcinoma (19.2%). Patients present at later stages and younger ages compared to high-income populations. Lung cancer screening guidelines and treatment protocols should be adapted to account for these differences.

*Tigeneh W, Molla A, Abreha A, Assefa M. Pattern of Cancer in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital Oncology Center in Ethiopia from 1998 to 2010. Int J Cancer Res Mol Mech (1:1). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.16966/2381-3318.103.