Frequent question: What is the difference between melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma?

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Is Merkel cell carcinoma the same as melanoma?

Melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) are both aggressive skin malignancies associated with immunosuppression and UV exposure. Merkel cell carcinoma, unlike melanoma, is exceedingly rare and relatively little is known about its epidemiology and prognosis.

Which is more serious melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma?

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. Learn more about melanoma types, risk factors, causes, warning signs and treatment.

What is the most aggressive skin cancer?

Melanoma has its beginnings in melanocytes, the skin cells that produce the dark, protective pigment called melanin which makes the skin tan. Melanoma is the most deadly of all the skin cancers and affects over 44,000 Americans each year.

Is carcinoma cancer worse than melanoma?

Those come from melanocytes, which are cells that exist to produce melanin. That compound both protects the skin from sunlight and determines its color. The other big difference between the two types of cancer is the survival rate. Melanomas are generally much more dangerous than carcinomas.

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Is Merkel cell carcinoma 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.

Can Merkel cells become malignant?

Merkel cell carcinoma is a very rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the skin. Sun exposure and having a weak immune system can affect the risk of Merkel cell carcinoma. Merkel cell carcinoma usually appears as a single painless lump on sun-exposed skin.

Is Merkel cell carcinoma 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.

Where does melanoma usually spread to first?

Normally, the first place a melanoma tumor metastasizes to is the lymph nodes, by literally draining melanoma cells into the lymphatic fluid, which carries the melanoma cells through the lymphatic channels to the nearest lymph node basin.

What is the difference between melanoma and carcinoma?

Melanoma typically begins as a mole and can occur anywhere on the body. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a firm red bump, a scaly patch, or open sore, or a wart that may crust or bleed easily. Basal cell carcinoma may appear as a small white or flesh-colored bump that grows slowly and may bleed.

What does Merkel cell cancer look like?

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare, aggressive skin cancer. It appears as a painless, flesh-colored or bluish-red nodule growing on your skin. Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare type of skin cancer that usually appears as a flesh-colored or bluish-red nodule, often on your face, head or neck.

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Which is worse basal cell squamous cell or melanoma?

Of the three main types of skin cancer, melanoma is most deadly, and basal cell, most common. Squamous cell cancer falls in between. It’s three times as common as melanoma (some 200,000 new cases each year versus 62,000).