An analysis of 250 cases as seen at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi over a period of 4 years 1972 - 1975
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The purpose of this study was to analyse jaw tumours in Kenya Africans. This was a retrospective study of 250 cases of jaw tumours admitted in the Head and Neck Surgery Department of the Kenyatta National Hospital from 1972 - 1975. The following are the conclusions:- 1. The jaw of Kenya Africans were susceptible to tumours with a remarkable frequency; forming 3.8% of all registered tumours in the Kenyatta National Hospital. 2. Common jaw tumours were Burkitt's Lymphoma and Sq. cell carcinoma. Fibrous dysplasia, sarcoma and ameloblastoma were also in significant number. 3. The various jaw tumours showed an age specificity; occurred in equal frequencies in both sexes, except Burkitt's Lymphoma (more common in male) and omeloblostornotmore common in female}; and were not associated with any tribe or race. Except for Burkitt's Lymphoma,which retained the picture of previous years, they did not show any specific geographical factor. 4. There is an increasing evidence of Epstein-Barr Virus as one of the causal factors of Burkitt's Lymphoma. No definite aetiological factors could be worked out for the other jaw tumours. 5. Maxilla is more prone to jaw tumours especially carcinoma and sarcoma. However, a II types of jaw tumours occurred in both maxilla and mandible. Ameloblastoma was almost confined to the mandible. 6. Three factors were responsible fOT cases coming in advanced stages. The patients were poor, ignorant and sought help of quack medicine; the peripheral medical and dental profession lacked vigilance in detecting early cases; and it took a long time for a patient to be referred from the periphery to the Kenyatta National Hospital. 7. Jaw tumour metastases to the lymph nodes and distantly were rare. 8. Radiology was helpful in diagnosis if the x -ray picture of a jaw lesion was typical. The primary value was to demonstrate the site and extent of the tumour. Histology was the most important method of diagnosis. 9. The jaw tumours required surgery; radiotherapy or chemotherapy for adequate treatment. Hence, they should be referred, without any inadequate treatment, to a specialised unit in a well-equipped hospitaI.