Merkel Cell Carcinoma Prevention

At the OSUCCC – James, cancer researchers and world-renowned diagnostic experts continually focus on studying skin cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. In fact, the OSUCCC – James consistently paves the way in leading-edge therapies and discoveries, leading to even more highly targeted care and treatment.

Screening for Merkel Cell Carcinoma Cancer

Cancer screening exams can help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are greatest. These tests are usually done when the patient is healthy and has no specific symptoms.

Although there are currently no screening tests recommended to detect Merkel cell carcinoma that shows no signs or symptoms, expert cancer researchers at the OSUCCC – James are working to develop tests that can detect and diagnose the disease as early as possible, leading to improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

Because early detection is crucial, the OSUCCC – James dermatologists and skin cancer specialists regularly offer screening clinics for potential skin cancers. Additionally, our High Risk Clinic focuses on monitoring patients who are at increased risk for Merkel cell carcinoma and other skin cancers.

If you have risk factors for Merkel cell carcinoma, you should regularly examine moles and other skin lesions.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a skin cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma Risk Factors

A Merkel cell carcinoma risk factor is anything that increases your chances of developing the disease. Risk factors for Merkel cell carcinoma include:

  • Exposure to a lot of natural sunlight
  • Exposure to artificial sunlight, such as from tanning beds, or the drug psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy for skin conditions such as psoriasis
  • An immune system weakened by disease such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia or HIV infection
  • Taking drugs that make the immune system less active, such as after an organ transplant
  • A history of other types of cancer
  • Being older than 50 years, male or Caucasian

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Not everyone with risk factors will get Merkel cell carcinoma. But having certain risk factors may increase your risk of developing the disease. If you are at high risk for Merkel cell carcinoma, talk to your doctor about tests to find out if you have early signs of the disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a skin cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066