Why is diagnosis of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) often delayed?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019
  • Author: Arjun S Joshi, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

The early course of MCC is usually asymptomatic. As a result, a delay in diagnosis is not uncommon until regional adenopathy or widely metastatic disease is noted. As many as one third of patients present with a neck mass without an obvious primary lesion. In rare cases, MCC have been associated with superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome.


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