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Walburga Yvonne Joko-Fru, Mirko Griesel, Nikolaus Christian Simon Mezger, Lucia Hämmerl, Tobias Paul Seraphin, Jana Feuchtner, Henry Wabinga, Guy N’da, Assefa Mathewos, Bakarou Kamaté, Judith Nsonde Malanda, Freddy Houéhanou Rodrigue Gnangnon, Gladys Chebet Chesumbai, Anne Korir, Cesaltina Lorenzoni, Annelle Zietsman, Margaret Ziona Borok, Biying Liu, Christoph Thomssen, Paul McGale, Ahmedin Jemal, Donald Maxwell Parkin, and Eva Johanna Kantelhardt

Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, little is known about the actual therapy received by women with BC and their survival outcome at the population level in SSA. This study aims to describe the cancer-directed therapy received by patients with BC at the population level in SSA, compare these results with the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines for SSA (NCCN Harmonized Guidelines), and evaluate the impact on survival. Methods: Random samples of patients with BC (≥40 patients per registry), diagnosed from 2009 through 2015, were drawn from 11 urban population–based cancer registries from 10 countries (Benin, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe). Active methods were used to update the therapy and outcome data of diagnosed patients (“traced patients”). Excess hazards of death by therapy use were modeled in a relative survival context. Results: A total of 809 patients were included. Additional information was traced for 517 patients (63.8%), and this proportion varied by registry. One in 5 traced patients met the minimum diagnostic criteria (cancer stage and hormone receptor status known) for use of the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines. The hormone receptor status was unknown for 72.5% of patients. Of the traced patients with stage I–III BC (n=320), 50.9% received inadequate or no cancer-directed therapy. Access to therapy differed by registry area. Initiation of adequate therapy and early-stage diagnosis were the most important determinants of survival. Conclusions: Downstaging BC and improving access to diagnostics and care are necessary steps to increase guideline adherence and improve survival for women in SSA. It will also be important to strengthen health systems and facilities for data management in SSA to facilitate patient follow-up and disease surveillance.

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Walburga Yvonne Joko-Fru, Mirko Griesel, Nikolaus Christian Simon Mezger, Lucia Hämmerl, Tobias Paul Seraphin, Jana Feuchtner, Henry Wabinga, Guy N’da, Assefa Mathewos, Bakarou Kamaté, Judith Nsonde Malanda, Freddy Houéhanou Rodrigue Gnangnon, Gladys Chebet Chesumbai, Anne Korir, Cesaltina Lorenzoni, Annelle Zietsman, Margaret Ziona Borok, Biying Liu, Christoph Thomssen, Paul McGale, Ahmedin Jemal, Donald Maxwell Parkin, and Eva Johanna Kantelhardt

Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, little is known about the actual therapy received by women with BC and their survival outcome at the population level in SSA. This study aims to describe the cancer-directed therapy received by patients with BC at the population level in SSA, compare these results with the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines for SSA (NCCN Harmonized Guidelines), and evaluate the impact on survival. Methods: Random samples of patients with BC (≥40 patients per registry), diagnosed from 2009 through 2015, were drawn from 11 urban population–based cancer registries from 10 countries (Benin, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe). Active methods were used to update the therapy and outcome data of diagnosed patients (“traced patients”). Excess hazards of death by therapy use were modeled in a relative survival context. Results: A total of 809 patients were included. Additional information was traced for 517 patients (63.8%), and this proportion varied by registry. One in 5 traced patients met the minimum diagnostic criteria (cancer stage and hormone receptor status known) for use of the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines. The hormone receptor status was unknown for 72.5% of patients. Of the traced patients with stage I–III BC (n=320), 50.9% received inadequate or no cancer-directed therapy. Access to therapy differed by registry area. Initiation of adequate therapy and early-stage diagnosis were the most important determinants of survival. Conclusions: Downstaging BC and improving access to diagnostics and care are necessary steps to increase guideline adherence and improve survival for women in SSA. It will also be important to strengthen health systems and facilities for data management in SSA to facilitate patient follow-up and disease surveillance.