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- Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare type of skin cancer that usually presents as a flesh-colored or bluish-red lump, often on the face, head, or neck. Merkel cell carcinoma is also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.
Merkel cell carcinoma is most common in older people. Long-term sun exposure or a weakened immune system can increase the risk of developing Merkel cell carcinoma. Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin Treatment in Hyderabad
The first sign of Merkel cell carcinoma is usually a painless, fast-growing lump (tumor) on your skin. The knot can be skin-colored or appear in shades of red, blue, or purple. Most Merkel cell carcinomas occur on the face, head, or neck, but can develop anywhere on your body, including areas that are not exposed to the sun.
It is not known what causes Merkel cell carcinoma. Merkel cell carcinoma begins in Merkel cells. Merkel cells are located at the base of the outermost layer of skin (epidermis). Merkel cells are connected to nerve endings in the skin that are responsible for the sense of touch.
Factors that can increase your risk for Merkel cell carcinoma include:
- Excessive exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. Exposure to ultraviolet light such as sunlight or tanning beds increases your risk of Merkel cell carcinoma. The majority of Merkel cell carcinomas occur on skin surfaces that are frequently exposed to the sun.
- A Weakened Immune System People with weakened immune systems – including people infected with HIV, taking drugs that suppress the immune response, or people with chronic leukemia – are more likely to develop Merkel cell carcinoma.
- History of other skin cancers. Merkel cell carcinoma is linked to the development of other skin cancers such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma.
- An older age. Your risk of Merkel cell carcinoma increases with age. This cancer is most common in people over the age of 50, although it can appear at any age.
- Clean skin. Merkel cell carcinoma usually occurs in people with light skin. Whites are much more likely to develop this skin cancer than blacks.
Cancer that spreads to other parts of the body
Merkel cell carcinoma also spreads beyond the skin (metastasizes) during treatment. Merkel cell carcinoma usually first migrates to nearby lymph nodes. It can later spread to the brain, bones, liver, or lungs, where it can affect the function of these organs. Metastatic cancer is more difficult to treat and can be fatal.
Although sun exposure has not been shown to cause Merkel cell carcinoma, it is considered a risk factor for this cancer. Less exposure to the sun can lower your risk of skin cancer. To attempt:
- Avoid the sun during rush hour. Avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible during the sunniest hours of the day, usually after 10 a.m. at 4:00 p.m. Postpone your outdoor activities to an hour earlier in the morning or later in the day.
- Protect your skin and eyes. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, tightly woven clothing, and sunglasses with UV protection.
- Apply sunscreen generously and frequently. Even on cloudy days, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours – or more frequently if you swim or sweat.
- Watch out for changes. If you notice a mole, freckle, or bump that is changing size, shape, or color, talk to your doctor. Most skin lumps never become cancerous, but detecting cancer early increases the chances of successful treatment. Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin Treatment in Hyderabad