Merkel cell carcinoma
Merkel cell carcinoma is an uncommon neuroendocrine tumour of the dermis which is characterised by aggressive regional nodal invasion, distant metastases, and a high rate of recurrence.
It tends to occurs in elderly fair skinned person in the seventh and eighth decades of life, and there may be a greater male predilection.
It can often present as a non-specific erythematous or violaceous firm nodule or small plaque that may be surrounded by small satellite tumours. It usually arises in the dermis and extends into the subcutis.
Exposure to sunlight, especially ultraviolet radiation, and immunosuppression have been reported as risk factors.
History and etymology
It was first reported by Toker in 1972 1
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