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Dermatological Malignancies at a University Teaching Hospital in north-western Tanzania: A Retrospective Review of 154 Cases

Tanzania Health Users’ Trust Fund
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  • Cancer
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Social Sciences


Dermatological malignancies are among the most common form of cancers and the global incidence has been increasing at an alarming rate. A retrospective study was conducted to determine the prevalence, histopathological pattern, anatomical distribution and treatment outcome of dermatological malignancies at Bugando Medical Centre in North-western Tanzania. Data were collected from patients’ files kept in the Medical record department; the surgical wards, operating theatre and histopathology laboratory and analyzed using Statistical package for social sciences system. A total of 154 patients with a histopathological diagnosis of dermatological malignancy were studied. Generally, males outnumbered females by a ratio of 1.4:1. The majority of patients were in the 5th and 6th decades of life. Malignant melanoma was the most common dermatological malignancy (67.5%) followed by Kaposi’s sarcoma (10.4%), Squamous cell carcinoma (8.4%) and Basal cell carcinoma(7.8%). The lower limbs were the most frequent site accounting for 55.8%. Wide local excision was the most common surgical procedure performed in 79.2% of cases. Post-operative wound infection was the most common complication in 58.3% of patients. Mortality rate was 3.8%. Dermatological malignancies are more prevalent in our setting. A high index of suspicion is needed to avoid labelling malignancies “chronic ulcers” and all suspected lesions should be biopsed

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