What type of cancer is Merkel cell carcinoma?
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.
Is Merkel cell carcinoma a neuroendocrine cancer?
Because Merkel cells are a type of neuroendocrine cell, Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is also sometimes called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. Another name for MCC is trabecular carcinoma (or trabecular cancer).
Is Merkel cell cancer fatal?
Merkel cell carcinoma, or MCC, is a rare skin cancer that can be fatal, killing about 700 people per year. It occurs more commonly in people frequently exposed to ultraviolet light. Most cases of MCC show up first with a small red or purple bump on the skin.
How fast does Merkel cell carcinoma 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 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.
How bad is Merkel cell cancer?
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 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.
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.
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.
What is the fastest growing cancer?
In the United States, primary liver cancer has become the fastest growing cancer in terms of incidence, in both men and women.
What is the most aggressive skin cancer?
Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that begins in cells known as melanocytes. While it is less common than basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.