Causes of Merkel Cell Carcinoma
The exact causes of Merkel cell carcinoma are not known. However, researchers have learned that:
- Merkel cell carcinoma can develop quickly in people who have had an organ transplant and are taking drugs to suppress their immune system (called immunosuppressives)
- Exposure to arsenic may increase the risk of developing the disease
- Exposure to sunlight may play a role in developing Merkel cell carcinoma, because the disease usually occurs on the face, head, and neck.