service images merkel cell

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare type of skin cancer. Due to its aggressive nature, it is wise for you to know the signs and symptoms of Merkel cell carcinoma, and to seek diagnosis and treatment as early as possible. Feinstein Dermatology provides a full spectrum of care for Merkel cell carcinoma treatment in the Delray Beach, FL community.

What Is Merkel Cell Carcinoma?

Merkel cell carcinoma most often appears as a single flesh-colored or blue-red nodule, which may appear on the face or neck. Most common among older men and women, Merkel cell carcinoma may result from long-term exposure to sunlight or a weakened immune system. When left untreated, Merkel cell carcinoma can spread quickly throughout your body.

What Are Merkel Cells?

Merkel cells reside at the base of your epidermis, the outermost layer of skin. These cells connect to your nerve endings, which help regulate your sense of touch. While researchers believe there to be a viral component to Merkel cell carcinoma, other factors, such as UV exposure, undoubtedly have an impact.


If you observe the symptoms of Merkel cell carcinoma, the first step is seeking an accurate diagnosis from our board-certified dermatology team. Different treatment options are available, but the most effective option is usually a wide excision, removing a large area of cancerous tissue from the body. From there, aesthetic treatment may help repair the appearance of your skin.

Tips for Managing

The risk factors for Merkel cell carcinoma include advanced age as well as any medical complications that weaken the immune system. Preventative steps include using proper protection from the sun, not only during summer but all year long. Regular dermatological evaluation is also crucial for early detection and prompt treatment.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma FAQ

MCC tumors frequently manifest in sun-exposed areas but lack distinct characteristics typical of other skin cancers. They can resemble pearly, pimple-like lumps, varying in color from skin-toned to red, purple, or bluish-red. Remarkably, they are rarely tender to the touch. Their rapid growth often attracts both patient and physician attention.

While MCC is three to five times more likely to be fatal than melanoma, early detection greatly improves treatment outcomes. Seeking medical evaluation if you suspect MCC is crucial, as treatment becomes progressively challenging once the disease advances. Fortunately, recent advances in immunotherapy have led to improved survival rates for MCC patients.

Approximately 3,000 new MCC cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, and this number is projected to rise to 3,250 cases by 2025. In comparison, MCC is 40 times rarer than melanoma, affecting approximately one individual per 130,000 in the U.S.

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive type of skin cancer that can potentially spread to other parts of the body. The most common sites for Merkel cell carcinoma to spread (metastasize) include:

  1. Regional Lymph Nodes: MCC often first spreads to nearby lymph nodes, particularly those in the region close to the primary tumor.
  2. Other Lymph Nodes: As the cancer progresses, it may spread to lymph nodes in other areas of the body.
  3. Skin and Subcutaneous Tissues: Merkel cell carcinoma can spread to the skin and tissues just beneath the skin in different parts of the body.
  4. Brain: In some cases, Merkel cell carcinoma may metastasize to the brain, leading to neurological symptoms.
  5. Liver: Metastasis to the liver is another possible site, affecting liver function.
  6. Lungs: Merkel cell carcinoma may spread to the lungs, causing respiratory symptoms.
  7. Bones: Although less common, MCC can metastasize to bones, leading to bone pain and other related symptoms.
  8. Other Organs: In advanced stages, Merkel cell carcinoma may spread to other organs such as the pancreas, kidneys, or adrenal glands.

The likelihood and pattern of metastasis can vary from person to person. Early detection and intervention are crucial to prevent or manage the spread of Merkel cell carcinoma.

Meet Our Board-Certified Dermatology Team

At Feinstein Dermatology in Delray Beach, FL, our commitment is patient satisfaction and loyalty. We are defining the new standard in customer experience and outcomes, striving to lead by example for others to follow. With a dedicated patient base of over thirty-five thousand (35,000) individuals who have entrusted us with their dermatological and cosmetic needs, we have earned our reputation as a leading provider in the field.

Our team comprises dedicated professionals, including board-certified dermatologists, a board-certified Mohs surgeon, and a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. We invite you to experience the exceptional care and dedication that defines Feinstein Dermatology.


Meet Your Providers


Brian Feinstein, D.O., FAAD

Learn More

Thomas Cahn, M.D., FAAD

Learn More

Lawrence Enisman, M.D., FACS

Learn More

Meredith Hancock, M.D., FAAD

Learn More

Robb Wilentz, M.D.

Learn More

Nathalie Allison-Fecteau, PA-C

Learn More

Nicole Fernandez

Medical Aesthetician Learn More

Feel Good About Your Skin

At Feinstein Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, we understand that your skin is more than just an organ; it reflects your well-being and confidence. Our dedicated team of board-certified dermatologists and skincare specialists is committed to guiding you on a transformative journey toward feeling fantastic in your own skin. With a personalized approach to dermatological and cosmetic care, we aspire to be your trusted partners for a lifetime of radiant, healthy skin. Take the next step towards embracing your confidence with advanced skincare solutions, cosmetic treatments, or skin cancer care in Delray Beach, FL. Schedule a consultation for Merkel cell carcinoma treatment today at (561) 498-4407.