Profile of Skin Biopsies and Patterns of Skin Cancer in a Tertiary Care Center of Western Nepal


Background: Skin biopsy is the method to assist clinicians to make definite dermatological diagnosis whichfurther helps in holistic management. Skin cancers are relatively rare clinical diagnosis in developing countrieslike Nepal, but the prevalence is on rise.
Objectives: To investigate the profile of skin biopsies and frequenciesand pattern of skin cancers in a tertiary care centre of Western Nepal. Materials and
Methods: The materialsconsisted of 434 biopsies (1.37%) out of 31,450 OPD visits performed in the Department of Dermatology, ManipalTeaching Hospital, Pokhara, Nepal, during the period of Dec 2011-Nov 2014. Data were collected and analyzedusing SPSS-16 with reference to incidence, age, sex, race and clinical and histopathological features.
Results: Thecommonest disorders observed in biopsies were papulosquamous lesions, skin tuberculosis of different types,benign skin tumors, leprosy, collagen and fungal diseases. Viral diseases were rarely seen, probably due to straightforward clinical diagnosis. Dermatological malignancies accounted for 55/434 (12.67%) of biopsies. Skin disordersin general were commoner in females 280/434 (64%), including malignancies 32/55(58.2%). Mean age of patientswith skin cancer was 54.5 years. Facilities for proper laboratory investigation of dermatological disorders willimprove the quality of life.
Conclusions: The most prevalent lesion in skin biopsies was papulosquamous disordersfollowed by skin tuberculosis of different types. Dermatological malignancy constituted 55/434 (12.67%) cases.The prevalence of skin malignancy is on rise in Nepalese society probably due to increase in life expectancy andbetter diagnostic services.