Merkel cell carcinoma

Merkel cell carcinoma is rare, with a reported incidence in one study of 2.2 per million per year.1 On the Skin Cancer Audit Research Database (SCARD), there are 21 cases recorded compared to 5717 primary melanomas (one for every 270 melanomas).2

Although these tumours are rare, it is important that they are recognised at first presentation because metastases occur in approximately 40% of cases and five-year survival after metastasis is less than 50%.3