Is Merkel cell carcinoma life threatening?

How fast does Merkel cell cancer spread?

A physical exam may reveal a new skin lesion, an enlarged lymph node or an enlarged liver that may signal the spread of MCC. A lesion of metastatic MCC may appear as a 1-3 cm, flesh-colored to red-purple bump that feels firm, is deeper compared to the primary lesion, and grows rapidly over a period of 2-4 weeks.

Is Merkel cell dangerous?

Merkel cells are types of cells in the upper layer of the skin. The cells are very close to nerve endings, and help the skin sense light touch. Merkel cell carcinoma occurs when these cells grow out of control. Merkel cell carcinoma can be dangerous because it tends to grow quickly.

How bad is Merkel cell carcinoma?

Any distant metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma is very serious and has a very poor prognosis. Treatment of the metastatic disease is aimed at improving quality of life. In some cases, radiotherapy and/or systemic chemotherapy may be administered for treatment.

Is Merkel cell cancer curable?

Merkel cell carcinoma is highly treatable with surgical and nonsurgical therapies, particularly if caught early. Treatments are often highly individualized, depending on a patient’s general health, as well as the tumor’s location, size, depth, and degree of spread.

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What type of cancer is Merkel?

Merkel cells are found in the top layer of the skin. These cells are very close to the nerve endings that receive the sensation of touch. Merkel cell carcinoma, also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin or trabecular cancer, is a very rare type of skin cancer that forms when Merkel cells grow out of control.

Does Merkel cell carcinoma make you tired?

Fatigue is a common side effect of treatment for many types of cancer, including Merkel cell carcinoma. The best way to deal with fatigue is to listen to your body.

Is Merkel cell carcinoma painful?

Does Merkel cell carcinoma hurt? While MCC is often painless, it can feel sore and tender. Some people say the growth itches. Many people who develop MCC are otherwise healthy.

Does Merkel cell carcinoma run in families?

MCC does not seem to run in families, so the DNA changes that lead to MCC are not likely passed on (inherited) from a person’s parents. Instead, these changes probably happen during the person’s life. Sometimes these changes might just be random events that happen inside cells, without having an outside cause.

Why is Merkel cell carcinoma so rare?

A Rare Skin Cancer

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is 40 times more rare than melanoma, with an estimated one case per 130,000 people in the U.S. Risk factors for MCC include sun exposure, fair skin, age over 50 and a weakened immune system.

Is Merkel cell carcinoma hard?

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare type of skin cancer. It starts when cells in the skin called Merkel cells start to grow out of control. MCC tends to grow quickly and can be hard to treat if it spreads beyond the skin.

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Who gets Merkel cell carcinoma?

Your risk of Merkel cell carcinoma increases as you age. This cancer is most common in people older than age 50, though it can occur at any age. Light skin color. Merkel cell carcinoma usually arises in people who have light-colored skin.