As one of the more aggressive kinds of skin cancers, Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is especially important to detect early on. It is also common for MCC to come back and spread/ metastasize, making it more deadly then melanoma. Sun-exposed areas are at a higher risk for developing cancerous Merkel cell carcinomas, especially those with fair skin. It has also been shown that those over age 50, especially males with light-colored skin, and those who have increased UV exposure from the sun or tanning beds, and those with immune suppression are at a higher risk for developing MCC.
Fortunately, Merkel cell carcinomas are usually curable when detected and treated in an early stage of development. For this reason, Dr. Michael Messina and our providers offer Merkel cell carcinoma surveillance and detection in Palm Desert, California. Our providers have an excellent referral base if you require treatment outside of our office. Most often MCC appears in sun-exposed areas as firm, painless lesions or nodules, and are commonly seen on the head and neck areas. They can be be red, blue, purple or even skin-colored and although they vary in size, they are most commonly smaller than the size of a nickel. To learn more about this invaluably preventive service at Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists, and to visit with our doctor soon, please call us at 760-773-6616.