Are all Merkel cells cancerous?

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.

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.

Is Merkel cell carcinoma benign or malignant?

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare cutaneous malignancy that is aggressive and often metastasizes to regional lymph nodes.

Is there a cure for Merkel cell carcinoma?

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 quickly 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.

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Is Merkel cell carcinoma caused by a virus?

Researchers recently discovered that a common virus plays a role in causing most cases of Merkel cell carcinoma. The virus (Merkel cell polyomavirus) lives on the skin and doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms.

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.

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.

Is Merkel cell a lymphoma?

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma with increased prevalence in patients with immunosuppression or B-cell neoplasms. To the best of our knowledge, an association with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) has not been previously described.