Metastatic Breast Cancer and Hormonal Receptor Status among a Group of Women in Sub Saharan Africa

Nabawanuka A, Galukande M, Nalwoga H, Gakwaya A

College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Correspondence to: Prof. Moses Galukande, P. O. Box 7072 Kampala Email:


Background: Breast cancer is the third commonest cancer in women in Uganda. The majority of breast cancer patients in Uganda present with advanced disease. Many studies show that metastatic lesions frequently lodge in bones, lung and liver. Tumour hormone receptor status correlates with site of metastatic lesions and survival among breast cancer patients.

Objective: To determine the sites of metastatic breast lesions and how they relate to the hormonal receptor status.

Methods: In this cross sectional descriptive study, 71 women with histologically confirmed incident breast cancer with metastases were analysed, their hormonal receptor status was determined. All patients underwent a chest X-ray, an abdominopelvic ultrasound scan and a bone scan. The χ² and t tests were used to compare variables for statistical differences.

Results: The mean age of participants was 45 years. Most metastases were to bone 56% (40/71), of these 45% (32/71 ) tumours were exclusive to bone and 94% of these (30/32) were ER+ . Of the 13 (18% of all patients) who had metastases to the liver, 7 were exclusive to the liver, and 1 (14.%) was ER positive. Of the 30 (42 %) patients with lung metastases, 23 patients were exclusive to lungs and 9/30 (39%) were ER+. In all 68% (48/71) were ER+, and bone metastases were associated with ER positivity and low grade tumors.

Conclusion: Breast metastases had a preponderance to bone in this largely premenopausal group of women and these tumors were mostly ER positive. In the absence of tests to determine ER status, empirical antihormonal therapy may be used.


Key words: Metastatic Breast Cancer, Hormonal Receptor Status


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


All content copyright © 2021 Annals of African Surgery.

ISSN (print): 1999-9674; ISSN (online): 2523-0816

Main Office Location: Menelik Medical Centre, Menelik Road, off Ngong Road, Nairobi. First floor.

Telephone: +254715260499



The content on this site is intended for health professionals. Advertisements on this site do not constitute a guarantee or endorsement by the journal, Association, or publisher of the quality or value of such product or of the claims made for it by its manufacturer.

Click here to subscribe and get the latest from Annals of African Surgery

Click here to apply as a Journal Reviewer!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram