Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) is a rare skin cancer which relates to some of the cells involved with ‘touch’ sensation. It again appears most commonly in areas exposed to the sun and is more frequently seen if you have white skin, are male over 50.
Surgery is one of the options for treating these skin cancers and routinely radiotherapy is performed after surgery to help mop up any residual cells. The radiotherapy may also include the lymph node area closest to your MCC. Mr Peach can discuss all this with you in clinic.
- In addition to those people exposed to excess sunlight, MCC is also associated with
- Immunosuppression either from organ transplants or other related medical diseases
- Exposure to artificial UV radiation from tanning beds or related to other medical therapy
- Previous history of other cancers
MCC usually present as a single painless raised red lump. The surface skin is often tight because the lesion is growing quickly. The tension in the skin can give it a shiny appearance, particularly when compared to the surrounding skin. If allowed to grow it can ulcerate (burst) in the centre producing an open wound.
The treatment options for MCC are either surgery, usually with radiotherapy afterwards or radiotherapy on its own. The best treatment option is unclear and is the main reason why a specific MCC trial has been set up in the UK. Leeds is participating in the trial, which hopes to determine which method of treatment (Surgery Radiotherapy vs Radiotherapy alone) is best. Mr Peach would be happy to discuss the trial with you if you are interested.
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