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Short Duration of Cancer and Short Duration of Cancer Treatment is associated with Elevated Serum C Reactive Protein among Cancer Patients Attending Oncology Unit at the Bugando Medical Centre Mwanza, Tanzania

Godfrida Marandu, Shabani Iddi, Lucas F. Kieji, Betrand Msemwa, Mary R. Shineneko, Stephen E. Mshana, Mariam M. Mirambo

Background: C-Reactive protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein of hepatic origin that increases following interlukin-6 secretion by macrophages and T cells. Elevated serum levels of CRP have been associated with an increased risk of cancer and high levels have been recorded in some types of cancer. This study aimed to determine the proportion of cancer patients with elevated serum CRP and associated factors among patients with different types of cancers attending oncology unit at Bugando Medical Center (BMC) in Mwanza Tanzania.

Methods: A cross sectional hospital based study involving 200 cancer patients was conducted from May to July 2019 at BMC, Mwanza Tanzania. Sociodemographic and other relevant information was collected using structured pretested data collection tool. Semi quantitative detection of CRP was done using Agglutination test as per manufacturer’s instructions. Data were analyzed using STATA version 13.0 software.

Results: The mean age of enrolled participants was 50.93 ± 19.22 years. Sixty five participants, (32.5%, 95% CI: 26.0- 38.9) were found to have elevated levels of serum CRP. Short duration of cancer p=0.013) and short duration of treatment p=0.023) were significantly associated with elevated serum CRP among cancer patients.

Conclusion: Elevated levels of CRP in cancer individuals is associated with short cancer duration (<3 months) and short duration of cancer treatment (<3 months) compared to those with greater than twelve months. These findings support previous studies which showed that CRP can be used as prognostic makers in cancer patients.