Chủ Nhật, 13 tháng 10, 2013

Merkel Cell Carcinoma – Symptoms, Treatment, Staging, Prognosis, Pictures

Merkel Cell Carcinoma – Symptoms, Treatment, Staging, Prognosis, Pictures

What is Merkel Cell Carcinoma?


This is a very rare kind of cancer of the skin that normally appears as a bluish-red or flesh colored nodule. It often appears on the face, neck or head. Merkel cell cancer is also referred to as “neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin”.








Merkel cell cancer often grows in older adults. Long-time exposure to the sun or a weakened immune system can increase the threat of this form of cancer.


Merkel cell cancer is prone to grow quickly and to also spread swiftly to other areas of the body. Options for treatment of this type of cancer normally are contingent on if the cancer has developed away from the skin.


Merkel Cell Carcinoma Symptoms


The first symptom of this type of cancer is normally a very fast growing nodule or tumor that is painless and is developing on the skin. This shiny nodule can be skin colored or may appear is shades of blue, purple or red. Most Merkel cell lesions develop on the head, neck or face but they also can develop anywhere on the body, even in areas not open to sunlight.


If a freckle, mole or bump is noticed that is beginning to change shape, color or size and is rapidly growing as well as bleeds easily after any minor trauma for instance washing the skin or shaving – it is time to make an appointment with the primary care physician.


Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment


Treatments for this type of cancer may include:


Surgery
With surgery, the physician will remove the tumor together with the surrounding skin border that is normal and circles the tumor. If any evidence shows that this cancer has migrated to lymphatic nodes in the region of the tumor, then these lymphatic nodes are also removed in a procedure known as “lymph node dissection”.
The physician most like will use a type of scalpel to cut the cancer away. In many cases, the physician might use a technique called Mohs micrographic surgery. Once the visible part of the tumor has been removed, the physician makes very thin slices of the tumor tissue to examine the slices under a microscope. This process is repeated until the cancer cells no longer are found in the tissue of a slice. This kind of procedure takes away less tissue that is normal tissue – reducing scarring – and it guarantees a tumor free boundary of skin. Mohs surgery is frequently used for cancer on the face.



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Radiation therapy
This comprises guiding high energy beams, such as x-rays at cancer cells. During this type of treatment, the individual is situated on a table and a very large machine travels around the individual, guiding the beams to very precise points on the body.


The therapy is often used after surgery to eradicate any cancer cells that might remain after the removal of the tumor. Because of the rarity of Merkel cell cancer, it is not clearly precise who should obtain this therapy after total surgical removal of the lesion. Discuss with the physician the benefits as well as the cons of having radiation therapy after the removal of the cancer.


This option also can be used to shrivel the cancer before it is removed or as the sole option for treatment in those individuals who choose no surgery. Radiation also can be used to treat any areas where the cancer has spread.


Chemotherapy
This is the using of drugs to kill the cells of cancer. Chemotherapy drugs are normally administrated thru IV or may be taken oral or both.


The doctor can commend chemotherapy if the cancer spreads to the lymphatic nodes or other organs in the body, or if it returns despite treatment. But, whether chemotherapy improves the rate of survival in those individuals with Merkel cell carcinoma is still unclear. Discuss with the physician the benefits as well as the risks of using chemotherapy.


Merkel Cell Carcinoma Staging


Stages I and II of this type cancer are described as localized disease of the skin at the primary site. Stage I is for those primary lesions that are less than or equal to 2 centimeters and stage II is for lesions that are primary and or greater than 2 centimeters. Stage III is described as disease which involves any nearby lymphatic nodes or regional lymph nodes. Stage IV of the disease is found beyond the regional lymphatic nodes.


Prognosis


The majority of deaths from this cancer happen within the first 3 years of diagnosis. Those individuals with stage I, II and III disease do much better than individuals with stage IV disease which is metastatic. A new study shows that individuals who have no lymphatic node involvement have an excellent prognosis.









Merkel Cell Carcinoma Pictures


Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Merkel Cell Carcinoma


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