How do I know if I have Merkel cell carcinoma?

What does Merkel cell feel like?

Merkel cell carcinoma can look like a sore

Grow quickly: It usually becomes noticeably bigger in a few weeks to months. Be pink, red, or purple. Feel painless.

How is Merkel cell carcinoma detected?

A CT scan of the chest and abdomen may be used to check for primary small cell lung cancer, or to find Merkel cell carcinoma that has spread. A CT scan of the head and neck may also be used to find Merkel cell carcinoma that has spread to the lymph nodes.

How quickly does Merkel cell carcinoma spread?

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.

What else looks like Merkel cell carcinoma?

An MCC can be mistaken for a basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, lymphoma, or small cell carcinoma of the skin. Most MCCs are provisionally diagnosed as basal cell carcinomas before biopsy.

What is Merkel disease?

Also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin or trabecular cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma is a very rare type of skin cancer that forms when Merkel cells grow out of control. The disease starts most often in areas of skin exposed to the sun, especially the head and neck, as well as the arms, legs, and trunk.

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Is Merkel cell carcinoma always 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 do you beat Merkel cell carcinoma?

Treatments for Merkel cell carcinoma can include:

  1. Surgery. During surgery, your doctor removes the tumor along with a border of normal skin surrounding the tumor. …
  2. Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy involves directing high-energy beams, such as X-rays and protons, at cancer cells. …
  3. Immunotherapy. …
  4. Chemotherapy.

Can Merkel cell carcinoma be benign?

Merkel cells are found at the base of the outermost layer of your skin (epidermis) andare connected to the nerve endings in the skin that are responsible for the sense of touch. There are several different kinds of skin cancer and except for melanoma, most of them are easily treatable and benign.

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 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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Is Merkel cell carcinoma aggressive?

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.

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.