Gastric carcinoma at Tygerberg Hospital, 1979 - 1983 : a retrospective study
A retrospective study was carried out on patients with histologically proven gastric carcinoma diagnosed at the Gastro-intestinal Clinic, Tygerberg Hospital, over a 5-year period - 1979 - 1983. Fifty per cent of patients were coloured men. The overall median age was 65 years but the coloured patients were significantly younger than the white. The main symptoms were loss of appetite and weight, abdominal pain and vomiting. The duration of symptoms in all patients was 3 months. An abdominal mass, anaemia and obvious weight loss were the most important physical signs. A normocytic, normochromic anaemia, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, raised liver enzyme levels and hypo-albuminaemia were the most important laboratory findings. In 96% of the 149 patients gastroscopy yielded a positive diagnosis of gastric carcinoma and barium meal examination showed abnormalities in 87%. In the majority of cases the carcinoma was poorly differentiated.