AO Mulimba, Othieno-Abinya NA, Nyong’o AO. "A 15 – YEAR RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF OSTEOGENIC SARCOMA IN KENYA." Africa Journal Medical Practice. 1994;1(3).


Cases of osteogenic sarcoma were studied as reported in the Kenya Cancer Registry covering a period of 15 years between January 1976 and December 1990. There were 271 cases with 113 (41.5%) coming from the Kikuyu community. The male to female ratio was 1.3 to 1 and the median age was 17 years. The tribal bias suggests either a genetic aetiology or a common environmental factor.

Afri J Med Prac, 1994; 1 (3): 73-7


Osteosarcoma is the most common sarcoma of bone worldwide. It occurs mainly during childhood and adolescence. during childhood and adolescence. 1-3 A biphasic pattern is observed with this tumour. The childhood and adolescent tumour is commonly observed arising in the epiphyses of long bone during the growth spurt . A small peak occurs in the elderly which is commonly associated with paget ‘s diseases or arises in prior radiation therapy ports or associated with exposure to thorotrast.4

Apart from the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) based study by Gakuu in 1980, 5 no information is available on the clinic-epidemiological picture of asteosarcoma in East Africa. A study was therefore, designed to look into some preliminary information about osteosarcoma in Kenya.

Materials and Methods

The source if this information was the Kenya Cancer registry (January 1975 to December 1990). Details were scrutinized about histology, sex, hospital of reporting, tribe, age and involved site(s).

There were a total of 271 cases of osteogenic sarcoma consisting of 151 males and 177 females (Male : Female = 1.3:1). Three cases had no gender identified. The Kikuyu predominate (42%) followed by Kamba (12%) as province, as shown in table 1. Most cases were reported from Nairobi province, as shown in table 2.

Cases were registered in all age groups (range 3 – 87 years) though the second decade accounted for 140 out of 244 (57%) of those whose ages were known (table 3). The median age was 17 years and mean age 19.5 years. Age distribution by tribes was fairly similar (table 4). The femur and tibia were most commonly involved, followed by the jaws (figure1).

Head and face involvement was then analyzed in greater details. The median age this time was 22 and mean age 27.3, only 26.5%of cases being recorded in second decade and 38.2% in third decade (Table 5). The Kikuyu were stillleading in head and facial involvement. It is however noteworthy that 40% of Luos now presented this way (table 6).

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