Diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer at the community level in Rwanda

Innocent Nzeyimana, Alexandre Nyirimodoka, Edouard Ngendahayo, Alex Bonane, Emmanuel Muhawenimana, Florence Umurangwa, Africa Gasana, Alphonse Marie Sibomana, Seth Teplitsky, Christophe Rusatira, Jennifer Rickard, Theobald Hategekimana, Emile Rwamasirabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and sixth leading cause of mortality. If not recognized early, patients with advanced prostate cancer can experience debilitating complications which can otherwise be prevented by early androgen deprivation therapy. This research intends to define clear diagnostic tools that will guide practitioners in the rural community setting toward early management of advanced prostate cancer.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional observational study at three referral hospitals in Kigali, Rwanda on patients who presented with clinical suspicion of advanced prostate cancer over a period of 6 months. All patients underwent prostate biopsy as well as metastatic work up (CT or MRI), for those who were eligible. Statistical analysis was done using STATA 14.2.

RESULTS: 114 patients were included in the study. The median age was 70 years (interquartile range: 65-79 years). In total 14 (12.3%) patients were found to have benign disease, while 100 (87.7%) patients were found to have cancer. Among those who had cancer, 85 (85%) had advanced prostate cancer. 110/114 (96.5%) were symptomatic at presentation. Common presenting symptoms were lower urinary tract symptoms (80.7%), back pain (54.4%), and urinary retention (36.8%). Abnormal digital rectal examination (DRE) was a strong risk factor for both cancer and advanced disease. Prostate cancer was found in 92.2% of those with abnormal DRE compared to 41.7% in those with normal DRE (p = 0.001). Also, cancer was found in 96.1% of those with multinodular prostate on DRE (p = 0.02) and had high odds (OR 14.6; CI 3.41-62.25) of having advanced prostate cancer (p < 0.001). The mean (± SD) PSA was 643.3 ± 1829.8 ng/ml and the median (range) was 100 ng/ml (9.05-10,000 ng/ml) for the whole study population. All patients with prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) of 100 ng/ml or above had advanced prostate cancer.

CONCLUSION: The results show that there is a significant correlation between clinical findings and advanced prostate cancer. All patients with abnormal DRE and PSA above 100 ng/ml had advanced prostate cancer. Diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer is possible at the community level if PSA testing is utilized and practitioners are well trained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1977-1985
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Advanced prostate cancer
  • Androgen deprivation therapy
  • Castration
  • Community
  • Diagnosis
  • Digital rectal exam
  • Prostatic-specific antigen

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study


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