Skin cancers in albinos in a teaching Hospital in eastern Nigeria - presentation and challe...

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Skin cancers in albinos in a teaching Hospital in eastern Nigeria - presentation and challenges of care.
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Albinism is a genetic disorder characterized by lack of skin pigmentation. It has
a worldwide distribution, but is commoner in areas close to the equator like
Nigeria.

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Skin cancers are a major risk associated with albinism and are thought to be a
major cause of death in African albinos. Challenges faced in the care of these
patients need to be highlighted, in order to develop a holistic management
approach, with significant public health impact.

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The aim of the study was to determine the pattern of skin cancers seen in
Albinos, and to highlight problems encountered in their
management.MethodCase records of albinos managed in Imo state University
teaching Hospital from June 2007 to May 2009 were reviewed. The data
obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics.Results and discussionIn
the period under review, albinos accounted for 67% of patients managed for
primary skin cancers.

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There were twenty patients, with thirty eight (38) lesions. Sixty one percent of the patients were below 40 years.

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Average duration of symptoms at presentation was 26 months. The commonest reason for late presentation was lack of
funds.

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Squamous cell carcinoma was the commonest histologic variant. Most patients were unable to complete treatment due to
lack of funds.

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Conclusion: Albinism appears to be the most important risk factor in the development of skin cancers in our environment.

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Late presentation and poor rate of completion of treatment due to poverty are major challenges.

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Author: Kingsley OparaBernard Jiburum
Credits/Source: World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2010, 8:73
Biomarker Data Analysis

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Published on: 2010-08-25

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Copyright by the authors listed above - made available via BioMedCentral (Open Access). Please make sure to read our
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