Merkel cell carcinoma
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.

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a rapidly growing malignant dermal or subcutaneous tumor occurring on sun-exposed areas in middle-aged or older adults and containing irregular anastomosing trabeculae and small dense granules typical of Merkel cells; whether these are the cells of origin is still under debate. Called also neuroendocrine or trabecular c. of the skin and Merkel cell tumor.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Merkel cell carcinoma — Classification and external resources Micrograph of a Merkel cell carcinoma. H E stain. ICD 10 C …   Wikipedia

  • Merkel cell carcinoma — Rare and highly malignant skin tumour that arises from neuroendocrine cells with features of epithelial differentiation …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • 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

  • Merkel cell polyomavirus — Virus classification Group: Group I (dsDNA) Family: Polyomaviridae Genus: Polyomavirus …   Wikipedia

  • Merkel cell cancer — Merkel cell cancer, also called Merkel cell carcinoma, trabecular cancer, Apudoma of skin, or Small cell neuroepithelial tumor of the skin, is a rare and highly aggressive cancer where malignant cancer cells develop on or just beneath the skin… …   Wikipedia

  • Merkel cell — Neuron: Merkel cell Diagram of human skin. In humans, Merkel cells (yellow dot) are found clustered beneath the epidermal ridges (aka fingerprints) …   Wikipedia

  • 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… …   Medical dictionary

  • Merkel cell tumor — see under carcinoma …   Medical dictionary

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