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Medical Dermatology If you notice a fast-growing nodule on your skin, it may be best to look into diagnosis and treatment for Merkel cell carcinoma in Philadelphia. This rare type of carcinoma may appear harmless at first and then aggressively grow. Initial diagnosis and prompt treatment are important to stop the spread of this cancer.

What Is Merkel Cell Carcinoma?

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a type of skin cancer that develops as a small red, bluish, or flesh-colored nodule on your neck, face, or head. If not addressed right away, it can be a fatal condition. It can spread beyond the skin and metastasize to other parts of the body. It is also referred to as trabecular carcinoma or neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. Merkel cells are neuroendocrine cells found at the base of the epidermis. These cells are connected to the nerves primarily involved in tactile sensation, allowing us to sense touch. Merkel cell carcinoma normally develops in aging adults. Long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays or a weak immune system can increase your chances of developing this skin cancer. Symptoms of Merkel cell carcinoma include an unusual bump, mole, or growth on your skin that grows rapidly or changes color. These tumors usually are painless but may break or bleed with minor trauma. Biopsy has to be done to diagnose this skin disorder.

Am I a Good Candidate for Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment?

Early detection of this rare skin cancer is vital. Your doctor will determine if you are a good candidate for Merkel cell carcinoma treatments. If you see any bumps on your skin that have changed color, have undefined borders, or have multiplied aggressively in a short period of time, you might be an ideal candidate for Merkel cell carcinoma treatment.

Your Consultation

Your consultation with Dr. Clifford Perlis will include a physical examination of your nodules, or skin growths. The size, texture, shape, and physical appearance of these skin growths will be noted for further study. Dr. Perlis will also perform diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy, to diagnose whether you have Merkel cell carcinoma or some other type of skin lesion. Your medical history will be discussed, along with past conditions and current medications.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment

There are different types of treatment available for neuroendocrine carcinoma. Surgery is one of the ways to remove the tumor from your skin. An excision of the tumor, along with a border of healthy skin tissue, will be done. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, a dissection of the lymph nodes will also be undertaken. In some cases, Mohs surgery is performed. This is the surgical removal of thin layers of tissue until no cancer cells are detected. This allows a methodical removal of cancerous tissue without taking out too many healthy cells. Minimal scarring is a benefit of this procedure. There are also several therapies that may prove effective. Radiation therapy is another way to treat Merkel cell carcinoma. High-energy beams are directed to specific points of your body, targeting the cancer cells. Immunotherapy involves the use of immunity-enhancing drugs to help you fight cancer. Chemotherapy uses drugs that kill the cancer cells.

The Recovery Process

Depending on the treatment approach, the recovery period varies. If skin cancer is detected and treated early, there is little chance of recurrence. The prognosis will depend on how the patient’s body reacts to the therapies and treatments. A regular checkup and monitoring every several months might be necessary to find out if there is recurrence or metastasis.

Contact Us to Learn More

Learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for Merkel cell carcinoma in Philadelphia. Contact Keystone Dermatology Partners today to schedule your consultation so we can help diagnose this skin disease in its early stages.

Genuinely concerned for his patients

The staff are very friendly and professional. The office has a very nice environment. I purposely traveled from the Fox Chase area of Philadelphia to this office in King Of Prussia to see Dr. Clifford Perlis. He performed MOHS surgery on my face years ago and did a wonderful job in removing the basal cell carcinoma and in leaving a minimal scar. Plus he is genuinely concerned for his patients. I highly recommend this practice. Lee Kostic

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