Malignant skin tumor in Blacks: experience in a teaching hospital

I A Adigun, M O Buhari, R O Ayorinde
West African Journal of Medicine 2006, 25 (4): 276-8

BACKGROUND: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is said to be the most common human skin malignancy. Its common presentation is in a Caucasian male older than 60 years, and patients could present with multiple co-existing tumors.

METHODS: We retrospectively review 146 patients treated for skin tumors in our tertiary hospital from January 1979 to December 2002. Cases notes and histopathology report cards of the patients were the source where information on individual patients was extracted. Patients treated for cutaneous melanoma were excluded from the study.

RESULTS: This study showed that Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the most common non melanomatous skin tumor in our environment. The study revealed only 8 (5.5%) cases of basal cell carcinoma which is in contrast to what is obtained in the Europe and North America.

CONCLUSION: Unlike in the Caucasians, squamous cell carcinoma is the most common non-melanomatous skin tumor in our environment. Most of our cases resulted from chronic leg ulcers secondary to poorly treated traumatic ulcers while others are due to chronic burn scar. The tumor is usually more aggressive and more prone to metastasis resulting in severe morbidity and sometimes loss of limb in the affected patient.

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