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Zambia

Cancer Statistics
Population in 2008: 12.6m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 10,100
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 140.8
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:14.6%
People dying from cancer /yr: 8,000
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2008)
Zambian Cancer Resources
Latest Research Publications related to Zambia

Zambian Cancer Resources (5 links)


Latest Research Publications related to Zambia

Morgan C, Nicholls K, Gangat N, Sansome S
Pregnancy complicated by haemorrhagic ascites in a woman with newly diagnosed HIV.
BMJ Case Rep. 2016; 2016 [PubMed] Related Publications
A young pregnant Zambian woman was referred from a district hospital in South Zambia to the university teaching hospital, Lusaka with severe anaemia and ascites. The ascites had developed over a month and the woman was currently 15 weeks pregnant. Further workup revealed that the patient was HIV-positive and the ascitic tap showed haemorrhagic fluid. After being reviewed by multiple doctors, the cause of the haemorrhagic ascites remained unclear; therefore, the decision was made to do a laparotomy. The laparotomy revealed haemoperitoneum and a large cyst attached to the liver containing 5 L of bloodstained fluid. The histopathology report revealed features consistent with a giant haemangioma. There were many barriers to accessing optimum healthcare in this case. These included limited access to blood, poor communication resulting in the patient being unaware of her HIV status and lack of patient education about HIV.

Kayamba V, Monze M, Asombang AW, et al.
Serological response to Epstein-Barr virus early antigen is associated with gastric cancer and human immunodeficiency virus infection in Zambian adults: a case-control study.
Pan Afr Med J. 2016; 23:45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Gastric cancer is one of the major causes of cancer related deaths, but data from sub-Saharan Africa are very scanty. The cancer genome atlas (TCGA) initiative confirmed Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) related cancer as a distinct subtype, and we set out to look for serological evidence of its role in a sub-Saharan African patient group.
METHODS: We used stored serum samples obtained from a gastric cancer case-control study conducted between 2010 and 2012 in Lusaka, Zambia. A total of 147 patients were included with 51 gastric adenocarcinoma cases and 96 age and sex matched controls. The presence of antibodies to EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1) and early antigen (EA) was determined using commercially available ELISA kits. Data were analysed in STATA Stata Corp, College Station TX.
RESULTS: Over 90% of all the samples analysed were positive for antibodies to EBNA-1. The presence of antibodies to EBV EA was significantly higher in gastric cancer cases than in controls, (OR 4.38; 95% CI 1.53-13.06, P = 0.0027), with an attributable risk of 23%. HIV infection was also associated with EBV EA seroprevalence (OR 10.97; 95% CI 2.26 -13.06, P = 0.001) but not EBNA-1 (OR 0.81; 95% CI 0.10 -38.75, P = 0.596). There was no association of EBV infection with age below 45 years, Helicobacter pylori infection, intestinal metaplasia, gastric atrophy or inflammation.
CONCLUSION: We therefore conclude that EBV exposure is common among Zambian adults and that EBV EA seropositivity is associated with gastric cancer and HIV infection, but not premalignant lesions.

Asombang AW, Kayamba V, Lisulo MM, et al.
Esophageal squamous cell cancer in a highly endemic region.
World J Gastroenterol. 2016; 22(9):2811-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To identify risk factors associated with esophageal cancer in Zambia and association between dietary intake and urinary 8-iso prostaglandin F2α (8-isoPGF2α).
METHODS: We conducted a prospective, case control study at the University Teaching Hospital. Subjects included both individuals admitted to the hospital and those presenting for an outpatient upper endoscopy. Esophageal cancer cases were compared to age and sex-matched controls. Cases were defined as patients with biopsy proven esophageal cancer; controls were defined as subjects without endoscopic evidence of esophageal cancer. Clinical and dietary data were collected using a standard questionnaire, developed a priori. Blood was collected for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) serology. Urine was collected, and 8-isoPGF2α was measured primarily by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and expressed as a ratio to creatinine.
RESULTS: Forty five controls (mean age 54.2 ± 15.3, 31 male) and 27 cases (mean age 54.6 ± 16.4, 17 males) were studied. Body mass index was lower in cases (median 16.8) than controls (median 23.2), P = 0.01. Histopathologically, 25/27 (93%) were squamous cell carcinoma and 2/27 (7%) adenocarcinoma. More cases smoked cigarettes (OR = 11.24, 95%CI: 1.37-92.4, P = 0.02) but alcohol consumption and HIV seropositivity did not differ significantly (P = 0.14 for both). Fruit, vegetables and fish consumption did not differ significantly between groups (P = 0.11, 0.12, and 0.10, respectively). Mean isoprostane level was significantly higher in cases (0.03 ng/mg creatinine) than controls (0.01 ng/mg creatinine) (OR = 2.35, 95%CI: 1.19-4.65, P = 0.014).
CONCLUSION: Smoking and isoprostane levels were significantly associated with esophageal cancer in Zambians, but diet, HIV status, and alcohol consumption were not.

Sullivan R, Alatise OI, Anderson BO, et al.
Global cancer surgery: delivering safe, affordable, and timely cancer surgery.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(11):1193-224 [PubMed] Related Publications
Surgery is essential for global cancer care in all resource settings. Of the 15.2 million new cases of cancer in 2015, over 80% of cases will need surgery, some several times. By 2030, we estimate that annually 45 million surgical procedures will be needed worldwide. Yet, less than 25% of patients with cancer worldwide actually get safe, affordable, or timely surgery. This Commission on global cancer surgery, building on Global Surgery 2030, has examined the state of global cancer surgery through an analysis of the burden of surgical disease and breadth of cancer surgery, economics and financing, factors for strengthening surgical systems for cancer with multiple-country studies, the research agenda, and the political factors that frame policy making in this area. We found wide equity and economic gaps in global cancer surgery. Many patients throughout the world do not have access to cancer surgery, and the failure to train more cancer surgeons and strengthen systems could result in as much as US $6.2 trillion in lost cumulative gross domestic product by 2030. Many of the key adjunct treatment modalities for cancer surgery--e.g., pathology and imaging--are also inadequate. Our analysis identified substantial issues, but also highlights solutions and innovations. Issues of access, a paucity of investment in public surgical systems, low investment in research, and training and education gaps are remarkably widespread. Solutions include better regulated public systems, international partnerships, super-centralisation of surgical services, novel surgical clinical trials, and new approaches to improve quality and scale up cancer surgical systems through education and training. Our key messages are directed at many global stakeholders, but the central message is that to deliver safe, affordable, and timely cancer surgery to all, surgery must be at the heart of global and national cancer control planning.

Olp LN, Jeanniard A, Marimo C, et al.
Whole-Genome Sequencing of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus from Zambian Kaposi's Sarcoma Biopsy Specimens Reveals Unique Viral Diversity.
J Virol. 2015; 89(24):12299-308 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiological agent for Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Both KSHV and KS are endemic in sub-Saharan Africa where approximately 84% of global KS cases occur. Nevertheless, whole-genome sequencing of KSHV has only been completed using isolates from Western countries-where KS is not endemic. The lack of whole-genome KSHV sequence data from the most clinically important geographical region, sub-Saharan Africa, represents an important gap since it remains unclear whether genomic diversity has a role on KSHV pathogenesis. We hypothesized that distinct KSHV genotypes might be present in sub-Saharan Africa compared to Western countries. Using a KSHV-targeted enrichment protocol followed by Illumina deep-sequencing, we generated and analyzed 16 unique Zambian, KS-derived, KSHV genomes. We enriched KSHV DNA over cellular DNA 1,851 to 18,235-fold. Enrichment provided coverage levels up to 24,740-fold; therefore, supporting highly confident polymorphism analysis. Multiple alignment of the 16 newly sequenced KSHV genomes showed low level variability across the entire central conserved region. This variability resulted in distinct phylogenetic clustering between Zambian KSHV genomic sequences and those derived from Western countries. Importantly, the phylogenetic segregation of Zambian from Western sequences occurred irrespective of inclusion of the highly variable genes K1 and K15. We also show that four genes within the more conserved region of the KSHV genome contained polymorphisms that partially, but not fully, contributed to the unique Zambian KSHV whole-genome phylogenetic structure. Taken together, our data suggest that the whole KSHV genome should be taken into consideration for accurate viral characterization.
IMPORTANCE: Our results represent the largest number of KSHV whole-genomic sequences published to date and the first time that multiple genomes have been sequenced from sub-Saharan Africa, a geographic area where KS is highly endemic. Based on our new sequence data, it is apparent that whole-genome KSHV diversity is greater than previously appreciated and differential phylogenetic clustering exists between viral genomes of Zambia and Western countries. Furthermore, individual genes may be insufficient for KSHV genetic characterization. Continued investigation of the KSHV genetic landscape is necessary in order to effectively understand the role of viral evolution and sequence diversity on KSHV gene functions and pathogenesis.

Kapambwe S, Sahasrabuddhe VV, Blevins M, et al.
Implementation and Operational Research: Age Distribution and Determinants of Invasive Cervical Cancer in a "Screen-and-Treat" Program Integrated With HIV/AIDS Care in Zambia.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015; 70(1):e20-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer screening efforts linked to HIV/AIDS care programs are being expanded across sub-Saharan Africa. Evidence on the age distribution and determinants of invasive cervical cancer (ICC) cases detected in such programs is limited.
METHODS: We analyzed program operations data from the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia, the largest public sector programs of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. We examined age distribution patterns by HIV serostatus of histologically confirmed ICC cases and used multivariable logistic regression to evaluate independent risk factors for ICC among younger (≤35 years) and older (>35 years) women.
RESULTS: Between January 2006 and April 2010, of 48,626 women undergoing screening, 571 (1.2%) were diagnosed with ICC, including 262 (46%) HIV seropositive (median age: 35 years), 131 (23%) HIV seronegative (median age: 40 years), and 178 (31%) of unknown HIV serostatus (median age: 38 years). Among younger (≤35 years) women, being HIV seropositive was associated with a 4-fold higher risk of ICC [adjusted odds ratio = 4.1 (95% confidence interval: 2.8, 5.9)] than being HIV seronegative. The risk of ICC increased with increasing age among HIV-seronegative women and women with unknown HIV serostatus, but among HIV-seropositive women, the risk peaked around age 35 and nonsignificantly declined with increasing ages. Other factors related to ICC included being married (vs. being unmarried/widowed) in both younger and older women, and with having 2+ (vs. ≤1) lifetime sexual partners among younger women.
CONCLUSIONS: HIV infection seems to have increased the risk of cervical cancer among younger women in Zambia, pointing to the urgent need for expanding targeted screening interventions.

Bateman AC, Katundu K, Mwanahamuntu MH, et al.
The burden of cervical pre-cancer and cancer in HIV positive women in Zambia: a modeling study.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:541 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HIV infection is associated with a higher incidence of precancerous cervical lesions and their progression to invasive cervical cancer (ICC). Zambia is a global epicenter of HIV and ICC, yet the overall burden of cervical pre-cancer [cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (CIN3)] and ICC among its HIV positive adult female population is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the burden of cervical disease among HIV positive women in Zambia by estimating the number with CIN3 and ICC.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study among 309 HIV positive women attending screening in Lusaka (Zambia's most populated province) to measure the cervical disease burden by visual inspection with acetic acid enhanced by digital cervicography (DC), cytology, and histology. We then used estimates of the prevalence of CIN3 and ICC from the cross-sectional study and Spectrum model-based estimates for HIV infection among Zambian women to estimate the burden of CIN3 and ICC among HIV positive women nationally.
RESULTS: Over half (52 %) of the study participants screened positive by DC, while 45 % had cytologic evidence of high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) or worse. Histopathologic evaluation revealed that 20 % of women had evidence of CIN2 or worse, 11 % had CIN3 or worse, and 2 % had ICC. Using the Spectrum model, we therefore estimate that 34,051 HIV positive women in Zambia have CIN3 and 7,297 have ICC.
CONCLUSIONS: The DC, cytology, and histology results revealed a large cervical disease burden in this previously unscreened HIV positive population. This very large burden indicates that continued scale-up of cervical cancer screening and treatment is urgently needed.

Rajaraman P, Anderson BO, Basu P, et al.
Recommendations for screening and early detection of common cancers in India.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(7):e352-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancers of the breast, uterine cervix, and lip or oral cavity are three of the most common malignancies in India. Together, they account for about 34% of more than 1 million individuals diagnosed with cancer in India each year. At each of these cancer sites, tumours are detectable at early stages when they are most likely to be cured with standard treatment protocols. Recognising the key role that effective early detection and screening programmes could have in reducing the cancer burden, the Indian Institute for Cytology and Preventive Oncology, in collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health, held a workshop to summarise feasible options and relevant evidence for screening and early detection of common cancers in India. The evidence-based recommendations provided in this Review are intended to act as a guide for policy makers, clinicians, and public health practitioners who are developing and implementing strategies in cancer control for the three most common cancers in India.

Parham GP, Mwanahamuntu MH, Kapambwe S, et al.
Population-level scale-up of cervical cancer prevention services in a low-resource setting: development, implementation, and evaluation of the cervical cancer prevention program in Zambia.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0122169 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Very few efforts have been undertaken to scale-up low-cost approaches to cervical cancer prevention in low-resource countries.
METHODS: In a public sector cervical cancer prevention program in Zambia, nurses provided visual-inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and cryotherapy in clinics co-housed with HIV/AIDS programs, and referred women with complex lesions for histopathologic evaluation. Low-cost technological adaptations were deployed for improving VIA detection, facilitating expert physician opinion, and ensuring quality assurance. Key process and outcome indicators were derived by analyzing electronic medical records to evaluate program expansion efforts.
FINDINGS: Between 2006-2013, screening services were expanded from 2 to 12 clinics in Lusaka, the most-populous province in Zambia, through which 102,942 women were screened. The majority (71.7%) were in the target age-range of 25-49 years; 28% were HIV-positive. Out of 101,867 with evaluable data, 20,419 (20%) were VIA positive, of whom 11,508 (56.4%) were treated with cryotherapy, and 8,911 (43.6%) were referred for histopathologic evaluation. Most women (87%, 86,301 of 98,961 evaluable) received same-day services (including 5% undergoing same-visit cryotherapy and 82% screening VIA-negative). The proportion of women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 and worse (CIN2+) among those referred for histopathologic evaluation was 44.1% (1,735/3,938 with histopathology results). Detection rates for CIN2+ and invasive cervical cancer were 17 and 7 per 1,000 women screened, respectively. Women with HIV were more likely to screen positive, to be referred for histopathologic evaluation, and to have cervical precancer and cancer than HIV-negative women.
INTERPRETATION: We creatively disrupted the 'no screening' status quo prevailing in Zambia and addressed the heavy burden of cervical disease among previously unscreened women by establishing and scaling-up public-sector screening and treatment services at a population level. Key determinants for successful expansion included leveraging HIV/AIDS program investments, and context-specific information technology applications for quality assurance and filling human resource gaps.

Stefan DC
Patterns of distribution of childhood cancer in Africa.
J Trop Pediatr. 2015; 61(3):165-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Very little is known about the regional variation in the incidence of childhood malignancies in Africa. The aim of the study was to perform a comprehensive analysis of the distribution of childhood cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa and compare the results to the Globocan estimations.
METHODS: A letter of invitation to participate was sent to all registry centers in Africa registered with the International Agency for Research on Cancer and to all African centers registered with AORTIC and SIOP Africa, requesting similar information as in CanReg 4. Childhood cancers were defined as those occurring below the age of 15 years. The data requested was from 2000 to 2010. The malignancies were classified and coded according to the International Classification of Childhood Cancer, 2004 system. Data obtained were analyzed using EpiInfo and Statistica 10 software. Information regarding the estimation of the numbers and incidence of the top 5 childhood cancers in specific countries was obtained from Globocan Web site.
RESULTS: There were 21 centers included in the study from 18 Sub-Saharan African countries. The data analyzed differed from center to center and included cases from 1985 to 2011. The proportion of childhood cancer out of all cancers ranged between 1.4% in Ghana to 10.0% in Rwanda. In Southern Africa, Kaposi sarcoma was the most common malignancy in children in Mozambique (15.8% of all cases) and the second most common in Zambia (15.6%) and in Malawi (12.4%). In Eastern Africa, Uganda recorded Kaposi sarcoma as the most common tumor in children (22.0%), while two Kenyan centers reported mainly Burkitt lymphoma (25.1 and 37.1%, respectively). In Central Africa, Congo classified retinoblastoma as the most common childhood cancer with an incidence of 20.1%. In Western Africa, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma was the most common in Ghana (53.6%), in Ivory Coast (73.6%) and in Mali (32.7%). Nephroblastoma remains the most common solid tumor in Africa exceeding 10% of total pediatric cancers in many countries (Rwanda 21.3%, Senegal 22%, Ivory Coast 14.5%, Mali 17.6%, Congo 15.5%, etc).
CONCLUSION: Unlike developed countries, lymphomas, nephroblastoma, Kaposi sarcoma and retinoblastoma were the most common pediatric tumors in Africa. Globocan estimations despite bringing significant contribution to the registration map cannot replace the data from local hospital and population-based registries. All efforts should be directed in developing functional and reliable childhood cancer registries across the African continent.

Kayamba V, Bateman AC, Asombang AW, et al.
HIV infection and domestic smoke exposure, but not human papillomavirus, are risk factors for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in Zambia: a case-control study.
Cancer Med. 2015; 4(4):588-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There is emerging evidence that esophageal cancer occurs in younger adults in sub-Saharan Africa than in Europe or North America. The burden of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is also high in this region. We postulated that HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) infections might contribute to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) risk. This was a case-control study based at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. Cases were patients with confirmed OSCC and controls had completely normal upper endoscopic evaluations. A total of 222 patients were included to analyze the influence of HIV infection; of these, 100 patients were used to analyze the influence of HPV infection, alcohol, smoking, and exposure to wood smoke. The presence of HIV infection was determined using antibody kits, and HPV infection was detected by polymerase chain reaction. HIV infection on its own conferred increased risk of developing OSCC (odds ratio [OR] 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0-5.1; P = 0.03). The OR was stronger when only people under 60 years were included (OR 4.3; 95% CI 1.5-13.2; P = 0.003). Cooking with charcoal or firewood, and cigarette smoking, both increased the odds of developing OSCC ([OR 3.5; 95% CI 1.4-9.3; P = 0.004] and [OR 9.1; 95% CI 3.0-30.4; P < 0.001], respectively). There was no significant difference in HPV detection or alcohol intake between cases and controls. We conclude that HIV infection and exposure to domestic and cigarette smoke are risk factors for OSCC, and HPV immunization unlikely to reduce OSCC incidence in Zambia.

Bateman AC, Katundu K, Polepole P, et al.
Identification of human papillomaviruses from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded pre-cancer and invasive cervical cancer specimens in Zambia: a cross-sectional study.
Virol J. 2015; 12:2 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The most common human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes isolated from cervical cancer in select African countries are HPV-16, HPV-18, HPV-35, and HPV-45, but the most common genotypes in Zambia are unknown. The overall objective of this study was to assess the potential impact of current HPV vaccines in preventing cervical cancer in Zambia, by determining the combined prevalence of HPV-16 and/or HPV-18 in invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and high-grade pre-cancer [cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or 3 (CIN2/3)] cases.
FINDINGS: We compared DNA extraction techniques to determine which assay performs well in the Zambian context, where unbuffered formalin is used to fix specimens. We then tested specimens with the Abbott RealTime High-Risk HPV test to estimate the prevalence of HPV-16/18 in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded ICC and CIN2/3 specimens. DNA extraction using heat (without xylene) was more successful than xylene-based extraction. Over 80% of specimens tested using heat extraction and the Abbott RealTime HPV test were positive for HPV. HPV-16 and/or HPV-18 were identified in 65/93 (69.9%) ICC specimens positive for HPV and in 38/65 (58.5%) CIN2/3 specimens positive for HPV.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge this is the first report to identify HPV genotypes in cervical cancers in Zambia. A combined HPV-16/18 prevalence of 69.9% in ICC specimens suggests that current vaccines will be highly protective against cervical cancer in Zambia.

Kalima M, Lishimpi K, Meza JL, et al.
Observed and expected incidence of cervical cancer in lusaka and the southern and Western provinces of Zambia, 2007 to 2012.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2015; 25(1):98-105 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Cervical cancer is increasing but underestimated in developing countries. We calculated the observed and expected incidence of cervical cancer in Lusaka and Southern and Western provinces of Zambia.
METHODS/MATERIALS: Data for 2007 to 2012 were obtained for the 3 provinces. Data included age, residence, year of diagnosis, marital status, occupation, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), stage, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Expected incidence in Southern and Western provinces was calculated based on observed incidence for Lusaka province, adjusting for HIV.
RESULTS: Crude and age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs) in Lusaka were 2 to 4 times higher than incidence in the other 2 provinces. Lusaka had a rate of 54.1 per 10(5) and ASR of 82.1 per 10(5) in the age group of 15 to 49 years. The Southern province had a rate of 17.1 per 10(5) and ASR of 25.5 per 10(5); the Western province had a rate of 12.3 per 10(5) and ASR rate of 17.2 per 10(5). The observed cervical cancer incidence rates in the Southern and Western provinces were lower than the rate in Lusaka, possibly because of the uncertainty of underreporting/underdiagnosis or actual lower risk for reasons yet unclear. The HIV seroprevalence rates in patients from the 3 provinces were 46% to 93% higher than seroprevalence in the respective general populations.
CONCLUSIONS: Cervical cancer is significantly underestimated in Zambia, and HIV has a significant role in pathogenesis. Future studies should establish methods for case ascertainment and better utilization of hospital- and population-based registries in Zambia and other similar developing countries.

Rohner E, Valeri F, Maskew M, et al.
Incidence rate of Kaposi sarcoma in HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy in Southern Africa: a prospective multicohort study.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014; 67(5):547-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The risk of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) among HIV-infected persons on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not well defined in resource-limited settings. We studied KS incidence rates and associated risk factors in children and adults on ART in Southern Africa.
METHODS: We included patient data of 6 ART programs in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. We estimated KS incidence rates in patients on ART measuring time from 30 days after ART initiation to KS diagnosis, last follow-up visit, or death. We assessed risk factors (age, sex, calendar year, WHO stage, tuberculosis, and CD4 counts) using Cox models.
FINDINGS: We analyzed data from 173,245 patients (61% female, 8% children aged <16 years) who started ART between 2004 and 2010. Five hundred and sixty-four incident cases were diagnosed during 343,927 person-years (pys). The overall KS incidence rate was 164/100,000 pys [95% confidence interval (CI): 151 to 178]. The incidence rate was highest 30-90 days after ART initiation (413/100,000 pys; 95% CI: 342 to 497) and declined thereafter [86/100,000 pys (95% CI: 71 to 105), >2 years after ART initiation]. Male sex [adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 1.34; 95% CI: 1.12 to 1.61], low current CD4 counts (≥500 versus <50 cells/μL, adjusted HR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.23 to 0.55), and age (5-9 years versus 30-39 years, adjusted HR: 0.20; 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.79) were relevant risk factors for developing KS.
INTERPRETATION: Despite ART, KS risk in HIV-infected persons in Southern Africa remains high. Early HIV testing and maintaining high CD4 counts is needed to further reduce KS-related morbidity and mortality.

Chamot E, Mulambia C, Kapambwe S, et al.
Preference for human papillomavirus-based cervical cancer screening: results of a choice-based conjoint study in Zambia.
J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2015; 19(2):119-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the conditions under which Zambian women with a history of cervical cancer screening by visual inspection with acetic acid might switch to human papillomavirus-based testing in the future.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a choice-based conjoint survey in a sample of women recently screened by visual inspection in Lusaka, Zambia. The screening attribute considered in hypothetical-choice scenarios included screening modality, sex and age of the examiner, whether screening results would be presented visually, distance from home to the clinic, and wait time for results.
RESULTS: Of 238 women in the sample, 208 (87.4%) provided responses sufficiently reliable for analysis. Laboratory testing on a urine sample was the preferred screening modality, followed by visual screening, laboratory testing on a self-collected vaginal specimen, and laboratory testing on a nurse-collected cervical specimen. Market simulation suggested that only 39.7% (95% CI = 33.8-45.6) of the respondents would prefer urine testing offered by a female nurse in her 30s over visual inspection of the cervix conducted by a male nurse in his 20s if extra wait time were as short as 1 hour and the option of viewing how their cervix looks like were not available.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that, for some women, the level of preference for human papillomavirus-based screening strategies may depend highly on the process and conditions of service delivery.

Bateman AC, Parham GP, Sahasrabuddhe VV, et al.
Clinical performance of digital cervicography and cytology for cervical cancer screening in HIV-infected women in Lusaka, Zambia.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014; 67(2):212-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although there is a growing literature on the clinical performance of visual inspection with acetic acid in HIV-infected women, to the best of our knowledge, none have studied visual inspection with acetic acid enhanced by digital cervicography. We estimated clinical performance of cervicography and cytology to detect cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse. Sensitivity and specificity of cervicography were 84% [95% confidence interval (CI): 72 to 91) and 58% (95% CI: 52 to 64). At the high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or worse cutoff for cytology, sensitivity and specificity were 61% (95% CI: 48 to 72) and 58% (95% CI: 52 to 64). In our study, cervicography seems to be as good as cytology in HIV-infected women.

Maree JE, Kaila I
Zambian women's experiences and understanding of cervical cancer: a qualitative study.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2014; 24(6):1065-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Zambian women, and approximately 28% of all patients with cancer seen at the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka experience this disease. Our objective was to gain insight into the knowledge, understanding, and experiences of women treated for cervical cancer at the specific hospital.
METHODS: We selected a qualitative research design and descriptive phenomenological approach for the study. Twenty-one (n = 21) semistructured interviews directed by an interview schedule were conducted. We used Patton's open coding steps and a template analyses style guided by the 4 themes of the interview schedule to analyze the data.
RESULTS: Most participants indicated that they did not know and understand anything of cervical cancer. They believed they were bewitched and consulted traditional healers and used traditional medicine. Most described that they experienced symptoms for extended periods of time before they were diagnosed. They described how the offensive vaginal bleeding and watery discharge they experienced led to isolation, rejection, and humiliation. The participants said they did not understand how they would be treated and treatment was described as a terrible experience.
CONCLUSIONS: The women's lived experiences of cervical cancer tell of severe suffering. They knew and understood very little about this disease. Their suffering became so unbearable that some wanted to end their lives. They were subjected to the opinions of others who knew equally as little but were quite willing to speak out, judge, and reject. Most battled through the treatment and the distressing adverse effects because it was their only hope to become better.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Zambian women must be empowered with knowledge and skills to protect themselves against cervical cancer. Suggestions for improving outcomes include changing high-risk behavior, taking advantage of screening opportunities, recognizing the signs of cervical cancer, and seeking health care without delay.

Jeremic B, Vanderpuye V, Abdel-Wahab S, et al.
Patterns of practice in palliative radiotherapy in Africa - case revisited.
Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2014; 26(6):333-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: To investigate patterns of practice in palliative radiotherapy in Africa.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifteen centres in Africa provided detailed information about radiotherapy in both metastatic and locally advanced disease via a questionnaire. Information included general information (institution status, equipment, staff, patient number), radiotherapy and other treatment characteristics in bone metastasis, brain metastasis, metastatic spinal cord compression, lung and liver metastasis, as well as locally advanced tumours.
RESULTS: The number of patients annually seen/treated ranged from 285 to 5000. Breast, cervix, head and neck, gastrointestinal and prostate cancer were the top five cancers overall. Eight (53%) institutions were without linear accelerators, four (27%) had a single one, whereas one institution each had two, three and four linear accelerators. The number of cobalt machines ranged from 0 to 2 (median 1). Most centres still prefer to use fractionated radiotherapy regimens over single-fraction regimens in bone metastasis, although most centres are now using single-fraction radiotherapy in retreatments. Radiotherapy in brain metastasis and metastatic spinal cord compression mostly conform to worldwide standards. Lung and liver metastases are rarely irradiated, largely as a consequence of the lack of modern radiotherapy technology. Locally advanced disease in various tumour sites was mostly palliated, in agreement with current evidence-based practices.
CONCLUSIONS: African countries still lack adequate staffing and equipment to adequately address their clinical burden, being palliative in most cases. Emphasis should also be made on more rationally using existing capacities by using more of the single-fraction radiotherapy regimens, especially in bone metastasis.

Kapambwe S, Parham G, Mwanahamuntu M, et al.
Innovative approaches to promoting cervical health and raising cervical cancer awareness by use of existing cultural structures in resource-limited countries: experiences with traditional marriage counseling in Zambia.
Glob Health Promot. 2013; 20(4 Suppl):57-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia (CCPPZ) has increasingly used community-level structures to increase the uptake and ensure the sustainability of the program. Traditional marriage counselors, the alangizi, who have existed in the Zambian society for many years, are one of the structures used by the program to impart cervical cancer knowledge and increase access to screening and care using an existing community structure. Several steps were followed in developing this intervention: (a) ensuring the alangizi understood the process of screening by encouraging them to go through the screening process; (b) workshops were arranged for the alangizi to meet and share experiences during which lessons were given on cervical cancer by health workers as well; and (c) eight alangizi were chosen to help document the lessons as part of ensuring that cervical cancer information is accurate and passed in a consistent manner. Over 70 alangizi, who had undergone cervical cancer screening, were trained by CCPPZ. A 'Cervical Cancer Training Manual for Marriage Counsellors' was developed to help the alangizi integrate cervical cancer lessons in their routine teachings. An evaluation was conducted during the training of the alangizi that forms the basis for this paper. The results show that although the alangizi face key challenges in their work (e.g. changing social contexts), they are still considered relevant by most communities in Zambia and are potentially an important avenue for cervical cancer and other health information. This paper shows that it is possible to integrate sexual and reproductive health messages into existing structures in the community. However, it is important to design culturally specific and sensitive healthcare strategies that embrace locally accepted good practices.

Slone JS, Chunda-Liyoka C, Perez M, et al.
Pediatric malignancies, treatment outcomes and abandonment of pediatric cancer treatment in Zambia.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e89102 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There exist significant challenges to the receipt of comprehensive oncologic treatment for children diagnosed with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa. To better define those challenges, we investigated treatment outcomes and risk factors for treatment abandonment in a cohort of children diagnosed with cancer at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), the site of the only pediatric oncology ward in Zambia.
METHODS: Using an established database, a retrospective cohort study was conducted of children aged 0-15 years admitted to the pediatric oncology ward between July 2008 and June 2010 with suspected cancer. Diagnosis, mode of diagnosis, treatment outcome, and risk factors for abandonment of treatment were abstracted from this database and clinical medical records.
RESULTS: Among 162 children treated at the UTH during the study time period that met inclusion criteria, only 8.0% completed a treatment regimen with most of the patients dying during treatment or abandoning care. In multivariable analysis, shorter distance from home to the UTH was associated with a lower risk of treatment abandonment (Adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR]  = 0.48 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23-0.97). Conversely maternal education less than secondary school was associated with increased risk for abandonment (aOR = 1.65; 95% CI 1.05-2.58).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite availability of dedicated pediatric oncology treatment, treatment completion rates are poor, due in part to the logistical challenges faced by families, low educational status, and significant distance from the hospital. Alternative treatment delivery strategies are required to bring effective pediatric oncology care to the patients in need, as their ability to come to and remain at a central tertiary care facility for treatment is limited. We suggest that the extensive system now in place in most of sub-Saharan Africa that sustains life-long antiretroviral therapy for children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection be adapted for pediatric cancer treatment to improve outcome.

De Vuyst H, Alemany L, Lacey C, et al.
The burden of human papillomavirus infections and related diseases in sub-saharan Africa.
Vaccine. 2013; 31 Suppl 5:F32-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite the scarcity of high quality cancer registries and lack of reliable mortality data, it is clear that human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated diseases, particularly cervical cancer, are major causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Cervical cancer incidence rates in SSA are the highest in the world and the disease is the most common cause of cancer death among women in the region. The high incidence of cervical cancer is a consequence of the inability of most countries to either initiate or sustain cervical cancer prevention services. In addition, it appears that the prevalence of HPV in women with normal cytology is higher than in more developed areas of the world, at an average of 24%. There is, however, significant regional variation in SSA, with the highest incidence of HPV infection and cervical cancer found in Eastern and Western Africa. It is expected that, due to aging and growth of the population, but also to lack of access to appropriate prevention services and the concomitant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates in SSA will rise over the next 20 years. HPV16 and 18 are the most common genotypes in cervical cancer in SSA, although other carcinogenic HPV types, such as HPV45 and 35, are also relatively more frequent compared with other world regions. Data on other HPV-related anogenital cancers including those of the vulva, vagina, anus, and penis, are limited. Genital warts are common and associated with HPV types 6 and 11. HIV infection increases incidence and prevalence of all HPV-associated diseases. Sociocultural determinants of HPV-related disease, as well as the impact of forces that result in social destabilization, demand further study. Strategies to reduce the excessive burden of HPV-related diseases in SSA include age-appropriate prophylactic HPV vaccination, cervical cancer prevention services for women of the reproductive ages, and control of HIV/AIDS. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Sub-Saharan Africa Region" Vaccine Volume 31, Supplement 5, 2013. Updates of the progress in the field are presented in a separate monograph entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012.

Oluwole D, Kraemer J,
Innovative public-private partnership: a diagonal approach to combating women's cancers in Africa.
Bull World Health Organ. 2013; 91(9):691-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PROBLEM: In low- and middle-income countries, breast and cervical cancer have a poor prognosis, partly owing to barriers to treatment. To redress this situation, health systems must be strengthened.
APPROACH: Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) is an innovative partnership designed to leverage public and private investments in global health and to build on the successful United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) platform to combat cancers of the breast and cervix in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. By supporting a comprehensive set of country-owned and country-driven interventions, PRRR seeks to reduce deaths from cervical cancer among women screened and treated through the programme and to reduce deaths from breast cancer by promoting early detection.
LOCAL SETTING: In its initial phase, PRRR is supporting the governments of Botswana, Zambia and other countries in expanding cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment coverage - especially to high-risk women with human immunodeficiency virus infection - and in strengthening breast cancer education and control services.
RELEVANT CHANGES: PRRR has introduced a diagonal strategy based on the life course and continuum of care approaches to cancer control. Its work has resulted in the delivery of the human papillomavirus vaccine to young girls in several settings and in the strengthening of prevention, screening and treatment delivery systems from the community to the tertiary level.
LESSONS LEARNT: This paper outlines the approach PRRR has taken as a country-aligned public-private partnership and the preliminary lessons learnt, including the need for flexible implementation, effective country coordination mechanism and regular communication with all stakeholders.

Mwanahamuntu MH, Sahasrabuddhe VV, Blevins M, et al.
Utilization of cervical cancer screening services and trends in screening positivity rates in a 'screen-and-treat' program integrated with HIV/AIDS care in Zambia.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e74607 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In the absence of stand-alone infrastructures for delivering cervical cancer screening services, efforts are underway in sub-Saharan Africa to dovetail screening with ongoing vertical health initiatives like HIV/AIDS care programs. Yet, evidence demonstrating the utilization of cervical cancer prevention services in such integrated programs by women of the general population is lacking.
METHODS: We analyzed program operations data from the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia (CCPPZ), the largest public sector programs of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. We evaluated patterns of utilization of screening services by HIV serostatus, examined contemporaneous trends in screening outcomes, and used multivariable modeling to identify factors associated with screening test positivity.
RESULTS: Between January 2006 and April 2011, CCPPZ services were utilized by 56,247 women who underwent cervical cancer screening with visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), aided by digital cervicography. The proportion of women accessing these services who were HIV-seropositive declined from 54% to 23% between 2006-2010, which coincided with increasing proportions of HIV-seronegative women (from 22% to 38%) and women whose HIV serostatus was unknown (from 24% to 39%) (all p-for trend<0.001). The rates of VIA screening positivity declined from 47% to 17% during the same period (p-for trend <0.001), and this decline was consistent across all HIV serostatus categories. After adjusting for demographic and sexual/reproductive factors, HIV-seropositive women were more than twice as likely (Odds ratio 2.62, 95% CI 2.49, 2.76) to screen VIA-positive than HIV-seronegative women.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first 'real world' demonstration in a public sector implementation program in a sub-Saharan African setting that with successful program scale-up efforts, nurse-led cervical cancer screening programs targeting women with HIV can expand and serve all women, regardless of HIV serostatus. Screening program performance can improve with adequate emphasis on training, quality control, and telemedicine-support for nurse-providers in clinical decision making.

Kumar P, Kuwa NY, Minhas V, et al.
Higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against KSHV in KS patients compared to asymptomatic individuals from Zambia.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e71254 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent for Kaposi Sarcoma (KS), the most common cancer diagnosed in HIV- infected patients. The role of neutralizing antibodies in KS pathogenesis and in KSHV infected individuals is not clearly understood. The goal of this study was to investigate and compare the prevalence and titers of neutralizing antibodies in plasma samples from KS patients and KSHV infected asymptomatic individuals from Zambia, a KS endemic region in sub-Saharan Africa. Plasma samples (N = 267) consisting of KS patients (group 1) and asymptomatic individuals (group 2) were collected from Lusaka, Zambia. A flow cytometry based quantitative neutralization assay utilizing recombinant KSHV expressing GFP was used to detect KSHV neutralizing antibodies. Our results show that the overall prevalence of neutralizing antibodies in KS patients (group 1) was 66.7% which was significantly higher than the prevalence of 6.5% present in KSHV infected asymptomatic individuals (group 2). Total antibody titers as well as neutralizing antibodies titers were found to be significantly higher among KS patients. It is likely that higher neutralizing antibodies prevalence and titers in KS patients result from higher levels of antigenic stimulation over time. This study is first to compare prevalence and titers of neutralizing antibodies in participants with and without disease from a KSHV endemic region.

Kayamba V, Asombang AW, Mudenda V, et al.
Gastric adenocarcinoma in Zambia: a case-control study of HIV, lifestyle risk factors, and biomarkers of pathogenesis.
S Afr Med J. 2013; 103(4):255-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide but there are few data from Africa. We recently observed a trend towards diagnosis in younger patients.
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that HIV might have altered risk factors for acquisition of gastric cancer, in a case-control study in the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia.
METHODS: Patients (n=52) with confirmed gastric adenocarcinoma and controls (n=94) undergoing endoscopy but with no macroscopic gastric pathology. Established risk factors and HIV status were compared.
RESULTS: HIV status did not differ significantly between cases and controls (odds ratio 1.03; 95% CI 0.2 - 4.3; p=1.00) and seroprevalence in cases was similar to that of the Zambian population. Smoking, regular alcohol intake, and gastric atrophy were all associated with cancer in univariate and multivariate analysis. Helicobacter pylori serology was positive in 84% of patients studied and cagA serology in 66%; neither serological marker was associated with cancer. Atrophy was common in cases (57%) and controls (30%) and associated with both smoking and alcohol use. Intestinal metaplasia was present in 17% of the controls, but was not associated with atrophy.
CONCLUSIONS: HIV was not associated with gastric cancer and does not explain the apparent younger age distribution. Atrophy was common and was not essential for the development of intestinal metaplasia, suggesting that gastric carcinogenesis in Africa does not always follow the pathway from atrophy to intestinal metaplasia to gastric carcinoma (the so-called Correa pathway).

Asombang AW, Kayamba V, Mwanza-Lisulo M, et al.
Gastric cancer in Zambian adults: a prospective case-control study that assessed dietary intake and antioxidant status by using urinary isoprostane excretion.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2013; 97(5):1029-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is increasingly recognized in Zambia. Although nutritional factors contribute to gastric cancer risk, their effect in Zambia is unknown.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to investigate the association between intake of dietary antioxidants, urinary 8-iso prostaglandin F2α (8-iso PGF2α) as a marker of oxidative stress, and gastric cancer.
DESIGN: This was a case-control study at the University Teaching Hospital in Zambia. Gastric cancer cases were compared with age- and sex-matched controls. Urine 8-iso PGF2α was measured primarily by ELISA, and by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in a subset, expressed as a ratio to creatinine. Blood was collected for Helicobacter pylori, HIV serology, gastrin-17, and pepsinogen 1 and 2 concentrations. Clinical and dietary data were collected by using questionnaires. Food items were broadly classified into 7 major categories (fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, insects, cereals, and starches).
RESULTS: Fifty cases with gastric cancer (mean age: 61 y; n = 31 males) and 90 controls (mean age: 54 y; n = 41 males) were enrolled. Median urinary 8-iso PGF2α excretion was higher in cases (0.014; IQR: 0.008-0.021) than in controls (0.011; IQR: 0.006-0.018; P = 0.039). On univariate analysis, habitual fruit intake was lower in cases than in controls during the dry season (P = 0.02). On multivariate analysis, smoking (OR: 7.22; IQR: 1.38-37.9) and gastric atrophy (OR: 2.43; IQR: 1.12-5.13) were independently associated with cancer, and higher fruit intake was protective (OR: 0.44; IQR: 0.20-0.95). Isoprostane excretion was inversely correlated with total fruit intake (ρ = -0.23; n = 140; P = 0.006).
CONCLUSION: Urinary 8-iso PGF2α excretion was associated with the risk of gastric cancer, as were smoking and gastric atrophy, but increased fruit intake conferred protection. This trial was registered at www.pactr.org as ISRCTN52971746.

Fenner L, Reid SE, Fox MP, et al.
Tuberculosis and the risk of opportunistic infections and cancers in HIV-infected patients starting ART in Southern Africa.
Trop Med Int Health. 2013; 18(2):194-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the incidence of selected opportunistic infections (OIs) and cancers and the role of a history of tuberculosis (TB) as a risk factor for developing these conditions in HIV-infected patients starting antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Southern Africa.
METHODS: Five ART programmes from Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa participated. Outcomes were extrapulmonary cryptococcal disease (CM), pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jirovecii (PCP), Kaposi's sarcoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A history of TB was defined as a TB diagnosis before or at the start of ART. We used Cox models adjusted for age, sex, CD4 cell count at ART start and treatment site, presenting results as adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
RESULTS: We analysed data from 175,212 patients enrolled between 2000 and 2010 and identified 702 patients with incident CM (including 205 with a TB history) and 487 with incident PCP (including 179 with a TB history). The incidence per 100 person-years over the first year of ART was 0.48 (95% CI 0.44-0.52) for CM, 0.35 (95% CI 0.32-0.38) for PCP, 0.31 (95% CI 0.29-0.35) for Kaposi's sarcoma and 0.02 (95% CI 0.01-0.03) for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A history of TB was associated with cryptococcal disease (aHR 1.28, 95% CI 1.05-1.55) and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (aHR 1.61, 95% CI 1.27-2.04), but not with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (aHR 1.09, 95% CI 0.45-2.65) or Kaposi's sarcoma (aHR 1.02, 95% CI 0.81-1.27).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that there may be interactions between different OIs in HIV-infected patients.

White HL, Mulambia C, Sinkala M, et al.
'Worse than HIV' or 'not as serious as other diseases'? Conceptualization of cervical cancer among newly screened women in Zambia.
Soc Sci Med. 2012; 74(10):1486-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Invasive cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide, with approximately 85% of the disease burden occurring in developing countries. To date, there have been few systematic efforts to document African women's conceptualization of cervical cancer after participation in a visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA)-based "see and treat" cervical cancer prevention program. In this study, conducted between September, 2009-July, 2010, focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted with 60 women who had recently undergone cervical cancer screening at a government-operated primary health care clinic in Lusaka, Zambia. Interviewers elicited participants' causal representations of cervical cancer, associated physical signs and symptoms, perceived physical and psychological effects, and social norms regarding the disease. The lay model of illness causation portrayed by participants after recent exposure to program promotion messages departed in several ways from causal models described in other parts of the world. However, causal conceptualizations included both lay and biomedical elements, suggesting a possible shift from a purely traditional causal model to one that incorporates both traditional concepts and recently promoted biomedical concepts. Most, but not all, women still equated cervical cancer with death, and perceived it to be a highly stigmatized disease in Zambia because of its anatomic location, dire natural course, connections to socially-condemned behaviors, and association with HIV/AIDS. No substantive differences of disease conceptualization existed according to HIV serostatus, though HIV positive women acknowledged that their immune status makes them more aware of their health and more likely to seek medical attention. Further attention should be dedicated to the processes by which women incorporate new knowledge into their representations of cervical cancer.

White HL, Mulambia C, Sinkala M, et al.
Motivations and experiences of women who accessed "see and treat" cervical cancer prevention services in Zambia.
J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2012; 33(2):91-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In Zambia, a country with a generalized HIV epidemic, age-adjusted cervical cancer incidence is among the highest worldwide. In 2006, the University of Alabama at Birmingham-Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia and the Zambian Ministry of Health launched a visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) -based "see and treat" cervical cancer prevention program in Lusaka. All services were integrated within existing government-operated primary health care facilities.
OBJECTIVE: Study aims were to (i) identify women's motivations for cervical screening, (ii) document women's experiences with screening and (iii) describe the potentially reciprocal influences between women undergoing cervical screening and their social networks.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews (IDI) were conducted with women who accepted screening and with care providers. Low-level content analysis was performed to identify themes evoked by participants. Between September 2009 and July 2010, 60 women and 21 care providers participated in 8 FGD and 10 IDI.
RESULTS: Women presented for screening with varying needs and expectations. A majority discussed their screening decisions and experiences with members of their social networks. Key reinforcing factors and obstacles to VIA screening were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: Interventions are needed to gain support for the screening process from influential family members and peers.

Asombang AW, Kelly P
Gastric cancer in Africa: what do we know about incidence and risk factors?
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2012; 106(2):69-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is a major contributor to mortality worldwide, yet its incidence varies widely around the world in a way which our current understanding of aetiology cannot fully explain. Incidence data from Africa are weak, reflecting poor diagnostic resources, but there are firm data on intestinal metaplasia and gastric atrophy which are important steps in the carcinogenesis pathway. The available registry data suggest that incidence is unlikely to be dramatically different from Europe or North America. Helicobacter pylori infection is an important permissive factor in the development of cancer, but H. pylori seroprevalence is high all over Africa and cannot clearly be correlated with cancer. However, there is evidence that specific bacterial virulence genes, particularly vacA and iceA allele1, do contribute to cancer risk. Intestinal metaplasia and gastric atrophy have been the focus of twelve studies and are common in Africa. Epstein-Barr virus, which causes 10% of cancer worldwide, is the focus of only one African study. Work in other continents demonstrates that other risk factors apply only to one or other of the two major histological types, intestinal and diffuse. Diet, smoking, alcohol and salt intake predispose to the intestinal type of cancer, but genetic factors predispose to the diffuse type. There is a pressing need for information on the histological types occurring in Africa, and their associated risk factors. Most urgently, information on dietary predisposition to cancer is required to inform public health policy with respect to the demographic transition (urbanisation and lifestyle changes) which is occurring all over the continent.

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