Significance of the anatomical distribution of major skin malignancies in Calabar, Southern Nigeria

  • ME Asuquo
Keywords: Skin malignancies, anatomical distribution

Abstract

Background. In Tanzania, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was the most
frequent skin malignancy followed by Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) then malignant melanoma with the lower limb as the predominant site. This is at variance with Caucasians where the head and neck is the commonest site for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer.

Method. Patients who presented to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital with histologic diagnosis of skin malignancy from January 2000 to December 2006 were studied.

Results. Eighty-nine patients (49 males and 40 females) presented with ninety-two lesions, their ages ranged from 16 and 70 years (mean 42.5 years). They were 9 oculocutaneous albino (OCA) patients (5males and 4 females) with 80 blacks. The lower limb was the commonest anatomical site involved in 42(46%) patients. The head and neck region ranked second with 17(19%) patients, which included 8 albinos followed by the external genitalia in 12(13%) patients.

Conclusion. This study highlights the peculiar site incidence in blacks, notably at variance with the whites. The location of skin cancer can be useful in predicting the type of malignancy as well as the possible risk factors.

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