Background. The increasing solar intensity and HIV epidemic have progressively eroded the protective effects of melanin among black race. This study was aimed at evaluating the pattern of primary skin cancers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Methods. This retrospective study, which was conducted at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, included the patients diagnosed with primary skin cancers between January 2008 and December 2017. The data were analyzed using SPSS version20.
Results. The frequency of primary skin cancers was 1.0%. Females (58.3%) outnumbered the males (41.7%), the ratio being 1.4:1. The spectrum of primary skin cancers documented by this study are squamous cell carcinoma (33.3%), malignant melanoma (25%), Kaposi sarcoma (15.3%), basal cell carcinoma (9.7%), and cutaneous lymphoma (6.9%).
Conclusion. Melanin remains a major protective factor for skin cancers among negroids. Albinism and high burden of HIV were identified risk groups for skin cancers. The eradication of HIV and enhanced sun protection will reduce the prevalence of skin cancers.
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