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. Merkel cell carcinoma is also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. Merkel cell carcinoma most often develops in older people. Long-term sun exposure or a weak immune system may increase your risk of developing Merkel cell carcinoma.
HOW IS MERKEL CELL CARCINOMA DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of the same is done by usually doing a tissue test or biopsy to check for malignant cells. PET and Sentinel node biopsy is usually done.
HOW IS MERKEL CELL CARCINOMA TREATED?
The tumour along with a border of normal skin is removed through surgery. After removing the cancer, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be performed to kill any remaining cancer cells.
DID YOU KNOW?
Even with treatment, Merkel cell carcinoma commonly spreads (metastasizes) beyond the skin. Merkel cell carcinoma tends to travel first to nearby lymph nodes. Later it may spread to the brain, bones, liver or lungs, where it can interfere with the functioning of these organs. Cancer that has metastasized is more difficult to treat and can be fatal.