Cancer that spreads to other parts of the body
Even with treatment, Merkel cell carcinoma commonly spreads (metastasizes) beyond the skin. Merkel cell carcinoma tends to travel first to nearby lymph nodes. Later it may spread to your brain, bones, liver or lungs, where it can interfere with the functioning of these organs. Cancer that has metastasized is more difficult to treat and can be fatal.
Dec. 11, 2012
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed Oct. 22, 2012.
- Merkel cell carcinoma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Oct. 22, 2012.
- Merkel cell carcinoma treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/merkelcell/patient. Accessed Oct. 22, 2012.
- Skin cancer prevention tips. SkinCancerNet. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/prevention.html. Accessed Oct. 22, 2012.