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What is Merkel cell carcinoma?

Merkel cells are found at the base of the top layer of skin (epidermis). These cells share some features with nerve cells as they are located very close to nerve endings. Merkel cells help us sense light touch and feel details on an object’s surface. 

Normally, cells in the body will grow and divide to replace old or damaged cells. This growth is usually precise. Once enough cells are produced to replace the old ones, normal cells stop dividing. Tumors occur when there is an error and cells continue to grow uncontrollably. Merkel cell carcinoma develops from Merkel cells.   

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare type of skin cancer. Successful treatment depends on age, stage and location of cancer and other factors.


Skin Care Team

Here at Parkview, you’ll be cared for by a dedicated team of skin cancer specialists and sub-specialists, not a general oncologist who treats all types of cancer.

Learn more about our skin care team.

Research & Clinical Trials

Parkview Research Center, in collaboration with Parkview Cancer Institute, provides innovative clinical research dedicated to advancing cancer care. 

View current research & clinical trials.