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Kyei K.A.,National Center for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine | Engel-Hills P.,Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice | Year: 2013

A research study was conducted at the radiation oncology department of a large teaching hospital in Ghana, to determine whether the use of a pain questionnaire would facilitate a contribution by the radiation therapists (RTs) to the management of pain in the patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy. The rationale for the study was to test the pain questionnaire as a tool for routine use by RTs and to increase the knowledge and skill of the RTs with regard to pain assessment in order that they could have an effective role in the multidisciplinary approach to pain management. The pain questionnaire for administration by RTs was adapted as a tool for assessing pain. The tool and the process were tested in a prospective study of 90 participants who willingly consented to participate. The data was analysed as a means of evaluating the questionnaire and learning about pain in this group of cancer patients. The results of this analysis were integrated with the findings from textual data published in a previous paper. Findings revealed that RTs could administer a limited pain questionnaire and use this for clinical assessment of patients with pain, refer patients who need urgent medical attention to the doctors, monitor the patients receiving radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy as well as provide meaningful suggestions to the multidisciplinary team on the management of pain. Through this reflective process it is recommended that because RTs have daily contact with patients during external beam radiotherapy treatment and because the majority of cancer patients in the study population experience pain, the RTs should enhance their knowledge of pain and participate in routine pain assessment. Through engagement in this role development the quality of care to the patient population in Ghana will be improved. Copyright © 2012 Cambridge University Press. Source

Yarney J.,National Center for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine | Donkor A.,National Center for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine | Opoku S.Y.,University of Ghana | Yarney L.,University of Ghana | And 2 more authors.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: There is widespread use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Ghana, driven by cultural consideration and paradigm to disease causation. Whether there is concurrent use of conventional medicine and CAM in cancer patients is unknown. This study investigates the prevalence, pattern and predictors of CAM use in cancer patients. Overlapping toxicity, sources of information, and whether users inform their doctor about CAM use is examined.Method: Cross-sectional study using a questionnaire administered to cancer patients, who were receiving radiotherapy and or chemotherapy or had recently completed treatment at a single institution was used.Results: Ninety eight patients participated in the study with a mean age of 55.5 (18-89), made up of 51% females. Married individuals formed 56% of the respondents, whilst 49% had either secondary or tertiary education. Head and neck cancer patients were 15.3%, breast (21.4%), abdomen/pelvic cancers constituted (52%).Seventy seven (78.6%) patients received radiotherapy only, 16.3% received radiation and chemotherapy and 5.3% had chemotherapy only.Ninety five patients were diagnosed of cancer within the past 24 months,73.5% were CAM users as follows; massage(66.3%), herbal(59.2%), mega vitamins(55.1%), Chinese medicine(53.1%),and prayer(42.9%). Sixty eight percent were treated with curative intent. Overlapping toxicity was reported. Majority (83.3%) of users had not informed their doctor about CAM use.On univariate analysis, female (p=0.004) and palliative patients, p=0.032 were more likely to be CAM users. Multivariate analysis identified female (p<0.01), as significant for use, whilst head and neck site was significant for non use (p<0.028). Young, married and highly educated individuals are more likely to use CAM.Friends and Media are the main sources of information on CAM. There was increase in CAM use after the diagnosis of cancer mainly for Chinese Medicine and vitamins.Conclusion: There is high CAM usage among Cancer patients, comparable to use in the general population, there is concurrent use of CAM and conventional medicine with reported overlapping toxicity but without informing Oncologist about use. Women and palliative patients are more likely to use CAM. Doctor patient communication on herbal-radiotherapy and drug treatment interaction needs to be strengthened. Standardization and regulation of CAM use is paramount. © 2013 Yarney et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Yarney J.,National Center for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine | Vanderpuye V.,National Center for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine | Mensah J.,University of Ghana
Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations | Year: 2013

Objective: Prostate cancer is reported to be more aggressive in Blacks. We studied the clinicopathologic features of prostate cancer in Ghana, in order to determine the factors responsible for them and to find out if there is any relationship between them. Method: Patients referred with a biopsy proven diagnosis of carcinoma of the prostate to the Cancer Center of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana, from 2003 to 2007 were studied. Information with respect to age at diagnosis, presenting symptoms, initial PSA (iPSA), Gleason score, and disease extent were studied. Age was partitioned into 50-65 and >65 years, Gleason score into 2-6, 7, and 8-10, iPSA into 4-20 ng/ml and >20, and disease extent into T1, T2, vs. T3, T4, M1, and the relationship between them was determined. Various presenting symptoms were described. Known risk factors and screening in a context of high grade disease is discussed. Results: A total of 170 patients were studied. Mean age was 65.4 years. Majority of patients (73.7%) presented with an iPSA > 20 ng/ml, whilst 22 (14.1%) had PSA < 10 ng/ml. Gleason score ≥ 7 was found in 95 (56%) of patients. Asymptomatic patients constituted 24.0%, the rest had bone pain (22.6%), urinary (50.4%), and neurologic symptoms (3.0%).There was a statistically significant relationship between age and Gleason score (. P = 0.049), PSA and Gleason score (. P = 0.0001), and between extent of disease and Gleason score (. P = 0.0002). High fat diet and low intake of fruits and vegetables are probable risk factors in Ghana. Conclusion: Majority of patients present with symptomatic disease at a relatively older age. These patients tend to have high Gleason score partly attributable to advanced disease, age, PSA at the time of diagnosis, and race. Screening with PSA should be recommended and individualized in this group of patients in order to allow diagnosis of less aggressive disease until better screening tools are identified. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Calys-Tagoe B.N.,Public Health Unit | Calys-Tagoe B.N.,University of Ghana | Yarney J.,National Center for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine | Kenu E.,Public Health Unit | And 4 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2014

Background: Though cancer has become a major source of morbidity and mortality globally, few countries in Sub Saharan Africa have data on cancer incidence. This study aims to describe the profile of cancers seen at the Korle Bu teaching hospital which is a major referral centre in Ghana for cancers and other health conditions.Data for the study was obtained from the cancer registry of the hospital and covered the period from January 2012 to December 2012. The public health unit actively collects data on all cancer cases presenting to any department/unit of the hospital to feed the cancer registry.Results: A total of 1136 patients with cancer were studied. Their ages ranged from 1 year to 92 years with a mean of 52.3 ± 15.9 years and a median of 54 years. Patients were predominantly female (70.2%) and majority had attained secondary level of education or higher. The most prevalent cancers seen in men were those of prostate, pharynx and colorectal while in the females, the corresponding cancers were breast, cervix and uterus.Conclusions: Breast and prostate cancers were the commonest among females and males respectively who presented with cancer at the Korle Bu teaching hospital in 2012. © 2014 Calys-Tagoe et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Amuasi J.H.,University of Ghana | Kyere A.K.,University of Ghana | Schandorf C.,University of Ghana | Fletcher J.J.,University of Ghana | And 12 more authors.
Physica Medica | Year: 2016

Medical physics has been an indispensable and strategic stakeholder in the delivery of radiological services to the healthcare system of Ghana. The practice has immensely supported radiation oncology and medical imaging facilities over the years, while the locally established training programme continues to produce human resource to feed these facilities. The training programme has grown to receive students from other African countries in addition to local students. Ghana has been recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency as Regional Designated Centre for Academic Training of Medical Physicists in Africa. The Ghana Society for Medical Physics collaborates with the School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences of the University of Ghana to ensure that training offered to medical physicists meet international standards, making them clinically qualified. The Society has also worked together with other bodies for the passage of the Health Profession's Regulatory Bodies Act, giving legal backing to the practice of medical physics and other allied health professions in Ghana. The country has participated in a number of International Atomic Energy Agency's projects on medical physics and has benefited from its training courses, fellowships and workshops, as well as those of other agencies such as International Organization for Medical Physics. This has placed Ghana's medical physicists in good position to practice competently and improve healthcare. © 2016 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Source

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