Merkel cell carcinoma
Other Names for this Disease
- Carcinoma, merkel cell
- Cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma
- Merkel cell cancer
- Merkle tumors
What causes Merkel cell carcinoma?
Is Merkel cell carcinoma inherited?
-being over 50 years of age
-having fair skin
-having a history of extensive sun exposure (natural or artificial)
-having chronic immune suppression, such as after organ transplantation or having HIV
Researchers have also found that a virus called Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is frequently involved in the development of MCC. MCPyV is found in about 80% of tumor cells tested. This virus is thought to alter the DNA in such a way that influences tumor development.
- National Cancer Institute. General Information about Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment. 2011; http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/merkelcell/healthprofessional. Accessed 5/22/2011.
- Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Merkelcell.org. May 8, 2013; http://www.merkelcell.org/. Accessed 6/3/2013.
- Mathew Ludgate. Merkel cell carcinoma. DermNet NZ. May 22, 2013; http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/merkel.html. Accessed 6/4/2013.
- Skin Cancer: Merkel Cell Carcinoma. American Cancer Society. December 31, 2013; http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/acspc-041578-pdf.pdf. Accessed 10/6/2014.