Prevalence of HIV/AIDS among breast cancer patients and the clinico-pathological presentation of breast cancer with HIV/AIDS in Mulago Hospital
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Background: Breast cancer is the most common site-specific cancer accounting for 33% of all female cancers and is responsible for 20% of the cancer-related deaths in women. Objective: To determine the prevalence of HIV among Ugandan breast cancer patients and to describe the clinico-pathological features among this group of patients. Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was done over a period of 6 months consecutively recruiting patients from Mulago Hospital breast clinic/ward. Those who met the eligibility criteria and consented to participate in the study were enrolled, history taken, physical examination performed, their breast lesions biopsied and blood withdrawn for sero-survey. The participants were then let home or admitted and managed accordingly. Collected data was double entered into epidata version v 3.1.1, cleaned, coded and then exported to STATA version 10.0. Results: Sixty two (100%) breast cancer patients participated in the study and of these, 22(35.48%) were positive for HIV. All the participants were female Ugandans. The mean age of HIV negative subjects was 45 years (range 21-80yrs) and for HIV positive subjects was 32.4years (range 18-52yrs). There was a significant relationship between HIV status and age as well as histopathology among the 62 participants as shown by the significant p values of >0.05. Conclusion: The prevalence of HIV among breast cancer patients was found to be higher than that in the general population. Breast cancer showed unusual and more aggressive types in the face of HIV infection in this study. We recommend that a study with more numbers, considering other unknown variables and risk factors like viral load be done. Physicians should have a high index of suspicion of the co-existence of these two diseases in the context of a high HIV prevalence especially in younger breast cancer patients.