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J Natl Med Assoc. 1991 Apr; 83(4): 345–348.
PMCID: PMC2627056

Primary malignant skin tumors in Nigerians.


Skin cancers, although uncommon, do occur in black Africans. Available literature on this subject from black African populations is scant, suggesting diminished interest. Eighteen cases of malignant skin tumors seen at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital over 3 years (1984 to 1987) were analyzed for diagnoses, site of tumors, sex, and age. Seven patients (39%) had malignant melanomas affecting only the soles of the feet, while the same number had squamous cell carcinomas widely distributed in various parts of the body. Basal cell carcinomas were found in four (22%) patients with face lesions. Only three albinos were in the series, and all three had squamous cell carcinomas. Melanin protection against sun-induced skin cancers gives a false sense of well-being. The need for renewed interest of the subject is emphasized.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Emmett EA. Ultraviolet radiation as a cause of skin tumors. CRC Crit Rev Toxicol. 1973 Sep;2(2):211–255. [PubMed]
  • Teppo L, Pakkanen M, Hakulinsen T. Sunlight as a risk factor of malignant melanoma of the skin. Cancer. 1978 May;41(5):2018–2027. [PubMed]
  • Cosman B, Heddle SB, Crikelair GF. The increasing incidence of melanoma. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1976 Jan;57(1):50–56. [PubMed]
  • Lewis MG. Malignant melanoma in Uganda. (The relationship between pigmentation and malignant melanoma on the soles of the feet). Br J Cancer. 1967 Sep;21(3):483–495. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ofodile A, Oluwasanmi JO. Management of skin tumors in albinos. Niger Med J. 1979 May-Jun;9(5-6):589–591. [PubMed]
  • Oluwasanmi JO, Williams AO, Alli AF. Superficial cancer in Nigeria. Br J Cancer. 1969 Dec;23(4):714–728. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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