Bladder cancer in Africa: update.

el-Mawla, N. G., M. N. el-Bolkainy, and H. M. Khaled, "Bladder cancer in Africa: update.", Seminars in oncology, vol. 28, issue 2, pp. 174-8, 2001 Apr.


Carcinoma of the bladder is the most prevalent cancer in Egypt and in most African countries. At the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cairo, it constitutes 30.3% of all cancers. The median age at diagnosis is 46 years, with a male preponderance of 5:1. Whether in Egypt or other African countries such as Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Gold Coast, and Senegal, it is mostly of the squamous cell type, and arises in a background of schistosomiasis or bilharziasis. Tumors are usually advanced at the time of presentation. Bladder carcinogenesis is probably related to bacterial and human papilloma virus (HPV) infections, usually associated with bilharzial infestation. Management is mainly surgery, with 5-year survival rates after radical cystectomy increasing from 35% in the 1970s to 48% in the 1990s. The addition of adjuvant and neoadjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy to surgery since 1976 significantly improved both disease-free and overall survival rates. Molecular genetic studies concerning potential prognostic markers, tumorigenesis, and tumor progression in bilharzial bladder cancer are limited. However, a comprehensive detailed analysis of these factors is underway. Bilharzial bladder cancer is a preventable malignant disease. Primary prevention could be possible if the parasite is eliminated nationwide. Chemoprevention using retinoids or cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors is a possible alternative. Semin Oncol 28:174-178.