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Merkel Cell Tumor

A type of tumor that is more commonly seen in Caucasian males, a Merkel cell tumor develops on or just beneath the skin and in the hair follicles. This rare form of cancer can affect people of all ages, but most commonly occurs in people over 70 years of age.
What causes the Merkel cell tumor is unknown, but certain risk factors may influence the likelihood of developing it. People who are at risk include those who have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressive drugs or those who have been exposed to arsenic or excessive sunlight.
Merkel cell tumors generally occur on the sun-exposed areas of the head, neck, arms, or legs. Sometimes, tumors or nodules are also found on the trunk of the body.
It is possible that the tumor may spread to other parts of the body as the cancer progresses, such as to the liver, bones, lungs, or brain. Early diagnosis of the tumor can ensure prompt treatment and prevent further exposure to other organs.
(Click Merkel Cell Carcinoma for a more in-depth look at the Merkel cell tumor and its effects on the body, possible symptoms, and various treatment options.)
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