Reuters Health: Merkel cell cancers recur more often than other skin cancers
UC expert says early detection of recurrence is important for treatment
New research shows that Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) recurs in patients much more often than other skin cancers, often within three years of diagnosis.
MCC is a more rare skin cancer that usually appears as a flesh-colored or bluish-red nodule on the skin, often on the face, head or neck.
Rekha Chaudhary, MD, adjunct associate professor at the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health oncologist, reviewed the research and told Reuters Health that new immunotherapy treatments have proven effective against MCC recurrence, making early detection of recurrence important.
"This study was very helpful in predicting those rates of recurrence," she said. "Following an MCC patient who has had a complete resection closely is very important now, given the new innovative treatments, and national guidelines should be adjusted accordingly."
Featured photo at top of Dr. Chaudhary. Photo/Colleen Kelley/University of Cincinnati.