Objective: To determine the range of disorders seen at the Haematology/oncology Clinic of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), and the proportion of Oncology referrals to the clinic.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review for patients referred to the clinic during the two-year period 2006 to 2007. A standardized data extraction template was used to record patient demographics (age, gender, residence) and diagnosis (grouped as benign or malignant haematological disorders, and solid tumours). Univariate analyses were used to provide descriptive summary statistics.
Results: Of the 626 new patients seen during the study period, 395 charts were retrievable. Most clinic attendees were female (73%); 51% resided in Kingston and St Andrew and 32% in St Catherine. Median age was 52 years (range 2-96). Malignant disorders comprised 62% of referrals; solid tumours (cancers) accounted for 85% of these. The most prevalent cancers were breast (70%), colorectal (17%) and gastric cancer (5%). Prostate cancer accounted for 1% of cases. The malignant or pre-malignant haematological disorders seen were: non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (9), multiple myeloma/plasma cell dyscrasias (9), Hodgkin's lymphoma (6), chronic leukaemia (6), acute leukaemia (2) and myeloproliferative disorders (1). The benign haematological disorders were anaemia (56%), platelet disorders (18%), leucocyte disorders (16%) and disorders of coagulation and haemostasis (11%).
Conclusions: The care of cancer patients comprised over 60% of the clinic workload. The most prevalent cancer was breast cancer. Prostate cancer was underrepresented, attributable to cross-specialty referral patterns. Expansion of cancer care and supportive services is recommended to address the needs of the cancer patient population.