Supporting the

Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) Skin Cancer

May 28, 2021

Neuroendocrine Cancer UK is supporting Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, highly aggressive skin cancer, primarily affecting older patients, and thought to arise from the cutaneous Merkel cell, a neuroendocrine cell. The exact cause of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is not known.
The most common sites are the head and neck followed by the arms – but they can also be found on the shoulders, torso, legs and areas of the body not usually exposed to sunlight.
They start as painless, firm, blue-red/ violet or even skin-coloured nodules – less than a centimetre, but may grow rapidly – rarely they may also ulcerate.
Early detection and intervention is essential – Merkel cell cancers can spread – to surrounding skin, to nearby lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groins or to other internal organs.
⏺️ There is a very good chance of curing people with a small primary Merkel cell cancer.
⏺️ There is a reasonable chance of curing people with bigger primary Merkel cell cancers or Merkel cell cancers that have spread to lymph nodes.
⏺️ Surgery is the most common treatment used for the primary Merkel cell cancer.
⏺️ Stage IV Merkel cell cancer may not be currently curable, but it can be controlled.
NICE’s recent approval of Avelumab as a first line option of therapy for metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) is a very positive step in improving overall survival and, as it appears to be well tolerated, quality of life.
Further information on Merkel Cell Carcinoma can be found on our website ➡️
Information about NICE’s recent approval of Avelumab ➡️