Major Dermatologic Malignancies Encountered in a Teaching Hospital Surgical Department in South Nigeria
- 40 Downloads
Background: Dermatologic malignancies are among the most common form of cancer. However, dark-skinned individuals of African descent are said to be far less likely than fair-skinned individuals to develop skin cancer. Significant differences in the pattern of skin malignancy have also been observed in different regions of Africa.
Objective:The aim of this study was to evaluate the pattern, site incidence, and outcome of treatment of major histologically diagnosed dermatologic malignancies encountered in a teaching hospital surgical department in South Nigeria.
Methods: We evaluated patients with histologic diagnoses of major dermatologic malignancies that presented to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria between January 2000 and December 2004 and compared our findings with the total number of patients diagnosed with malignancies at the same hospital over the same period. This hospital is located in South Nigeria.
Results: There were 63 histologically diagnosed dermatologic cancers, comprising 10% of all histologically diagnosed cancers at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital during the study period. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was the most common (n = 23; 37%), followed by Kaposi sarcoma (KS) [n = 17; 27%]. Other malignancies included basal cell carcinoma (BCC), melanoma, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) [n = 5; 8% each]. The peak age varied with the type of cancer but none was found in patients in the first decade of life. The lower limb was the most frequent site of SCC (Marjolin ulcer), KS, and melanoma, while BCC was most common on the head, neck, and upper limb. Excision surgery resulted in healing of all cases of BCC. Some patients with SCC and melanoma presented late for curative surgery. Some African KS tumors were chemo- sensitive. There was a high recurrence rate for DFSP.
Conclusion: This study revealed a similar pattern of dermatologic malignancies in South Nigeria compared with other parts of Africa but also some regional differences (e.g. in Kano, melanoma ranked second). The pattern was, however, in sharp contrast to that seen with Caucasian populations, in whom 80% of the lesions are BCC and 20% are SCC. Public education, implementation of preventive strategies, and early presentation of disease would improve outcomes of dermatologic malignancies in Nigeria.
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this study. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this study.
- 2.Halin SB, Kim DJ, Jeon CH. Clinical studies of Marjolin’s ulcer. Yousei Med J 1990; 31: 234–41Google Scholar
- 3.Kromberg JG, Castle D, Zwane LM, et al. Albinism and skin cancer in Southern Africa. Clin Genet 1989 Jul; 3 (1): 43–52Google Scholar
- 7.Ochicha O, Edino ST, Mohammed AZ, et al. Dermatological malignancies in Kano Northern Nigeria: a histopathological review. Ann Afr Med 2004; 3 (4): 188–91Google Scholar
- 9.Rafindadi AH. A study of 1959 solid cancers seen in ABUTH, Zaria 1900-1995. Niger J Surg 1998; 5:45–8Google Scholar
- 11.Benson JF. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Medicine J 2005 Nov; 4: 1–6Google Scholar
- 13.Asuquo ME, Ugare G, Odio B, et al. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in Calabar-Nigeria. Niger J Surg Sci 2006; 16 (1): 35–8Google Scholar
- 15.Nggada HA, Na’aya HU, Ali N. A histological analysis of malignant tumours of the skin in University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Highland Med Res J 2003; 1: 38–40Google Scholar
- 16.Asuquo ME, Okereke-Okpa I, Anchor G. African Kaposi sarcoma-florid lesions in a Nigerian male in south eastern equatorial rain forest: a case report. Niger Med Pract 2006; 50 (3-4): 72–6Google Scholar
- 17.Watt ST, Siziya S, Chokunonga E. Cancer of the skin in Zimbabwe 1986-1992. Central Afr J Med 1997; 43: 181–4Google Scholar
- 19.Sober AJ, Koh HK, Tran NT, et al. Melanomas and other skin cancers. In: Braunwald E, Isselbacher KJ, Wilson JD, et al., editors. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine. New York: McGraw Hill, 1998: 543–9Google Scholar
- 20.Chen CJ, Siegel D. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. eMedicine J 2005 Jul; 13: 1–8Google Scholar