Merkel cell carcinoma
Other Names for this Disease
- Carcinoma, merkel cell
- Cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma
- Merkel cell cancer
- Merkle tumors
Your QuestionCan you catch this cancer from a husband that you are close to and kiss every day?
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Questions on this page
-being over 50 years of age
-having fair skin
-having a history of extensive sun exposure (natural or artificial)
-having chronic immune suppression, such as after organ transplantation or having HIV
Researchers have also found that a virus called Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is frequently involved in the development of MCC. MCPyV is found in about 80% of tumor cells tested. This virus is thought to alter the DNA in such a way that influences tumor development.
Merkel cell polyomavirus, which has been found to be present in 80% of MCC tumors, is considered to be an organism that normally inhabits the human body; asymptomatic infection with the virus is common. It is typically acquired in early childhood. MCC is a rare cancer, and the overwhelming majority of individuals who are infected with the virus will never develop MCC. The virus itself is transmissible (although the mode of transmission is not well understood), but MCC cannot be passed from one individual to another.
- Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Merkelcell.org. May 8, 2013; http://www.merkelcell.org/. Accessed 6/3/2013.
- Mathew Ludgate. Merkel cell carcinoma. DermNet NZ. May 22, 2013; http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/merkel.html. Accessed 6/4/2013.
- James S. Welsh. Oncologist. January 2011; 16(1):1-4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228048/. Accessed 6/3/2013.
- Amber K, McLeod MP, Nouri K. The Merkel cell polyomavirus and its involvement in Merkel cell carcinoma. Dermatol Surg. February 2013; 39(2):232-238.