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Definition of Neuroendocrine cancer of the skin

Neuroendocrine cancer of the skin: Also called Merkel cell carcinoma. An uncommon but highly malignant skin tumor that characteristically starts in a sun-exposed area in a lightskinned person over 60 as a firm painless shiny lump that can be red, pink, or blue and range in size from less than a quarter of an inch (a half cm) to more than two inches (5 cm) in diameter. The tumor grows rapidly and often metastasizes (spreads) to the regional (nearby) lymph nodes and follows an aggressive course with distant metastases (in order of frequency) to liver, bone, brain, lung, and skin. The prognosis (outlook) is poor.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20480
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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