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Acta Oncol. 1995;34(4):469-71.

Skin cancer of the head and neck in Zaria, Nigeria.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.


This 12-year review looked at the clinical presentation and predisposing factors of head and neck cancer treated at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria, from 1978 to 1989. There were 174 patients with skin cancer in the head and neck region out of a total of 721 skin cancer patients. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common tumour type. Unlike in other sites where chronic ulcer and scars were the main predisposing factors, most of the head and neck skin cancers arose without any obvious underlying predisposing lesion. However, 14 of the 174 patients had albinism, a well-known risk factor for skin cancer in black Africans. The head and neck skin cancer patients usually presented late with advanced fungating lesions beyond curative surgery.

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