Tove Ekdahl Hjelm
Dr Tove Ekdahl Hjelm is a resident oncologist. The PhD projects are related to early onset breast cancer in Sweden and Ethiopia and to breast surgery in Uganda. The first study showed that a very small proportion of the incident cases of breast cancer in Uganda were operated, demonstrating a large unmet need for this type of surgery.
Studies including patients with early onset breast cancer and breast cancer in men in Sweden and Ethiopia are ongoing/planned. These studies will investigate family history of breast cancer and presence of genetic mutations in several genes known or suspected to be associated with the risk of developing breast cancer. A cohort of the study participants in Ethiopia will be followed to investigate adherence to recommended treatment and causes for non-adherence. Quality of life will be investigated and evaluated over time in the cohort.
In sub-Saharan Africa, a very large proportion of the breast cancer patients are young and surprisingly many breast cancer patients in Ethiopia are men. This raises the suspicion that genetic mutations may play an important role in breast cancer development in this part of the world. At the same time, patients often present late when cure is not possible. The projects will provide important new knowledge that shall be used in the development of strategies for early detection and prevention.