Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a cancer of the Merkel cells of the skin and, like melanoma, is considered a very aggressive skin cancer. MCC is rare, generally occurs in older adults, and can be associated with a fair complexion, history of sun exposure, and a compromised immune system. Whereas melanoma staging is largely based on tumor thickness and lymph node status, the staging of a MCC is based on tumor size and lymph node status.
Merkel cell carcinomas are treated very much like melanoma with a wide local excision and sentinel lymph node biopsy (learn more about melanoma surgery). Because Merkel cell carcinomas have a higher risk of recurring in their original location, radiation therapy is often used after surgery to the operated area.
At Melanoma & Sarcoma Specialists of Georgia, our experienced surgical oncologists specialize in the management of MCC.