There is no such thing as routine Merkel cell carcinoma. Every patient’s Merkel cell carcinoma is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.

At the OSUCCC – James, our Merkel cell carcinoma specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on Merkel cell carcinoma and who reach across medical disciplines (oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.

And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.

Facts About Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Tumors form in Merkel cells, which are located in the top layer of the skin near nerve endings that receive touch sensations. Merkel cell carcinoma occurs most often in areas of skin exposed to sun.

About 1,500 cases of Merkel cell carcinoma are diagnosed in the United States each year. But it tends to be more aggressive and harder to treat than other types of skin cancer.

Merkel cell carcinoma grows quickly and tends to spread to the lymph nodes and into other areas of the body such as the lungs, bones or other organs.

Melanoma Epidermal Anatomy

Merkel Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

Merkel Cell carcinoma usually appears on sun-exposed skin as a single lump that is:

  • Fast-growing
  • Painless
  • Firm and dome-shaped or raised
  • Red or violet in color

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have Merkel cell carcinoma. But if you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)


If you have received a Merkel cell carcinoma diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a Merkel cell carcinoma specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 W. 10th Ave.

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066

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