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Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the Digit

Persitz, Jonathan MD*†; Atzmon, Ran MD*†; Keren, Timoret MD*†; Avisar, Erez MD*†

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001897
Hand Surgery: PDF Only

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a biologically aggressive neuroendocrine tumor of the skin. There are roughly 1500 new cases of MCC diagnosed every year in the United States, with an increased incidence over the past 15 years reaching up to 8%. Epidemiological studies show that the highest MCC incidence is seen in men older than 65 years, with a ratio of 0.23 per 10,000 among whites. Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin most commonly presents as a single, rapidly growing, flesh-colored, painless mass. Because MCC is uncommon, histopathological examination is usually delayed. Because of the high mortality rate associated with this aggressive tumor, a multidisciplinary panel is recommended to ensure high-quality coordinated care. The choice of treatment option depends on disease characteristics, staging at presentation, regional lymph node involvement, comorbidities, and performance status of the patient. We report a case of MCC to alert medical professionals of this potentially fatal tumor, as early diagnosis and treatment may improve morbidity and mortality rates.

From the *Hand and Upper Limb Surgery Unit, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Tzriffin; and

The Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Received December 29, 2018, and accepted for publication, after revision January 25, 2019.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Jonathan Persitz, MD, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Tzriffin, 70300 Israel. E-mail:

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