Merkel cell cancer history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Vamsikrishna Gunnam M.B.B.S [2]


Patients with merkel cell carcinoma usually present with a rapid growing, painless, small mass that is typically located on sun exposed area of the body.

History and Symptoms

  • The majority of patients with merkel cell carcinoma are asymptomatic almost 88 percent.


Patients with merkel cell carcinoma may have a positive history of:[1]

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms of merkel cell carcinoma include[2][3][4]


  1. Suárez AL, Louis P, Kitts J, Busam K, Myskowski PL, Wong RJ, Chen CS, Spencer P, Lacouture M, Pulitzer MP (December 2015). "Clinical and dermoscopic features of combined cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)/neuroendocrine [Merkel cell] carcinoma (MCC)". J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 73 (6): 968–75. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2015.08.041. PMC 5026117. PMID 26433246.
  2. Heath M, Jaimes N, Lemos B, Mostaghimi A, Wang LC, Peñas PF, Nghiem P (March 2008). "Clinical characteristics of Merkel cell carcinoma at diagnosis in 195 patients: the AEIOU features". J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 58 (3): 375–81. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2007.11.020. PMC 2335370. PMID 18280333.
  3. Jalilian C, Chamberlain AJ, Haskett M, Rosendahl C, Goh M, Beck H, Keir J, Varghese P, Mar A, Hosking S, Hussain I, Rich M, McLean C, Kelly JW (August 2013). "Clinical and dermoscopic characteristics of Merkel cell carcinoma". Br. J. Dermatol. 169 (2): 294–7. doi:10.1111/bjd.12376. PMID 23574613.
  4. Zhan FQ, Packianathan VS, Zeitouni NC (March 2009). "Merkel cell carcinoma: a review of current advances". J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 7 (3): 333–9. PMID 19401065.