Histological review of melanoarcinoma in Port Harcourt

  • D Seleye-Fubara Anatomical Pathology Department, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • EN Etebu Anatomical Pathology Department, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Background: Melanocarcinoma is a malignancy of melanocytes affecting more females; and commoner in the farming population. It is also associated with high morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To determine the pattern, outcome of melanocarcinoma and a survey of presentation of the tumor in Port Harcourt was undertaken.

Design: A retrospective descriptive study for 11 years (1st January 1990- 31st December 200).

Setting: University of the Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt.

Method: Histological slides previously stained with hematoxylin and eosin of 15 cases of melanocarcinoma were retrieved and re-evaluated for the study. Special stain like Mason Fontana stain was also used for proper diagnosis of some of the tumors. Tissue slides or blocks which could not be located and those with inadequate documentations were excluded from the study. The 15 cases were staged according to Clark's Staging System.

Result: melanocarcinoma is rare in this environment as it accounted for 0.8% of total malignancies for the period under review. The age ranged from 39-76 year. Majority of the cases were female with ratio of 3:2. The peak (73.3%) frequency of occurrence was among the age group (51-70) years. Only the nodular and the acral leniginous types were seen, of which the nodular type was the commonest (80%). The feet and the legs were the commonest predilection sites (46.7%) while the head and neck as well as the knee were the least site of occurrence. There was no stage I and II melanocarcinoma in this study. The cancers were seen in stage V, IV and III in decreasing frequency.

Conclusion: melanocarcinoma, thought rare in this environment, present at advanced stage of the disease. Public enlightenment and awareness campaign as to the physical characteristics of the tumor is needed to make patients present early for diagnosis of the disease and treatment.

Keywords: melanocarcinoma, Port Harcourt, presentation

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol. 8(2) 2005: 110-113

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eISSN: 1119-3077