- Carcinoma, Merkel cell
- An infrequent but highly malignant type of skin cancer. Characteristically starts in a sun-exposed area (of the head, neck, arms or legs) in whites 60-80 years of age as a firm, painless, shiny lump that can be red, pink, or blue in color and vary in size from less than a quarter of an inch (a half cm) to more than two inches (5 cm) in diameter. The tumor grows rapidly and often metastasizes (spreads) to other parts of the body. Even relatively small tumors are capable of metastasis, particularly to the regional (nearby) lymph nodes. Merkel cell carcinoma follows an aggressive course like that of melanoma, and has a predilection to spread to (in order of frequency) liver, bone, brain, lung, and skin. The prognosis (outlook) is accordingly poor. "Merkel" is often misspelled as "Merkle." The disease is named for the German anatomist and pathologist Friedrich Sigmund Merkel (1845-1919) and is also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.
Medical dictionary. 2011.
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stage I Merkel cell carcinoma — is divided into stages IA and IB. In stage IA, the cancer is smaller than 2 centimeters in diameter and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. In stage IB, the cancer is 2 centimeters or larger in diameter and has not spread to … English dictionary of cancer terms
stage II Merkel cell carcinoma — The cancer may be any size and has spread to nearby lymph nodes, but has not spread to other parts of the body … English dictionary of cancer terms
stage III Merkel cell carcinoma — The cancer may be any size and has spread beyond nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body … English dictionary of cancer terms