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Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

In Memoriam: Remembering Jimmy Buffett and Raising Awareness of Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Sep 7, 2023

Image Sky News

On the 1st of September, Jimmy Buffett passed away after a valiant four-year battle with NEN Merkel cell skin cancer. His legacy as an artist and his journey with this rare form of cancer serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of awareness, support, and unity in our fight against this disease.

Jimmy Buffett’s Musical Legacy

Jimmy Buffett was a true icon in the world of music. His soulful melodies and timeless songs touched the hearts of millions around the globe. Despite his health challenges, Jimmy continued to share his extraordinary talent with the world, leaving us with a treasure trove of music.

NEN Merkel Cell Skin Cancer (MCC)

MCC is a firm, painless, skin-coloured to red-violet lump that usually develops on a sun-exposed part of the skin, however, it may also originate on areas of the skin usually covered by clothing – for example, the genitals.

The anatomical distribution of MCCs:

  • Head & neck >35%,
  • Extremities (upper limbs – shoulders, arms) >20%,
  • Extremeties (lower limbs – hip, legs) >25%
  • Other sites (including torso, genitals and ora-nasal cavities) ~10%
  • Unknown primary ~10%

Not all Merkel cell carcinomas have the same appearance, any NEW, CHANGING, or UNUSUAL nodules or lumps on the skin, should be checked by a doctor / dermatologist.

It can grow rapidly (over weeks) – and may be highly aggressive, spreading to surrounding tissues and local lymph nodes. Left undiagnosed or untreated – it can spread to other sites of the body including internal organs (lungs, liver, and bone).

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Join Our Efforts

At Neuroendocrine Cancer UK, we are committed to raising awareness about Merkel cell skin cancer and providing support for those affected by it. We invite you to learn more about this disease by visiting our dedicated webpage, where you can find information about its symptoms, risk factors, and prevention.

For individuals and families facing Merkel cell skin cancer, you don’t have to navigate this alone. We have created a supportive community on Facebook to connect, share experiences, and offer comfort during challenging times. Join our Facebook support group here.

Honouring Jimmy Buffett

Today, we remember Jimmy Buffett not only for his remarkable music but also as a symbol of resilience and courage in the face of illness. Let his legacy serve as a catalyst for increased awareness, research, and support for those affected by Merkel Cell.