Highland Medical Research Journal

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The cost of treating skin cancers in a teaching hospital in Makurdi, Nigeria

Chukwukadibia N. Ahachi, Priscilla Denen Akaa, Onyemocho Audu, Ikenna N. Anakebe, Damian J. Omeh, Chinyere O. Okpara


Background: Patients with skin cancer are fairly common in our practice. We lack data on the cost of treating these patients. This data is important for policy formulation and resource allocation. We studied the socioeconomic burden of skin cancer on patients presenting to our institution.
Methods: A 3-year retrospective study of patients with histologically-confirmed skin cancers presenting to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015 was done. Relevant data was extracted from the patients' records.
Results: Records were available for 43 patients with a mean age of 46±18 years. The total direct cost of treatment was ? 8.741m with a median of ? 0.173m and interquartile range of ? 0.229m. The care of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients, who made up the largest proportion of patients, took up 46.7% of the total cost and melanoma 39.1%. Melanoma had the highest average cost per patient of ? 0.312m. The relative youth and active employment of the patients contributed to the indirect costs by creating a significant loss of productivity.
Conclusion: Skin cancer care places a significant burden on the patients, their families and the entire society.

Key words: Skin cancer, economic burden, care, Makurdi, Nigeria

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