Merkel cell carcinoma is a cancer of the skin. It is fast-growing cancer that can spread to distant organs quickly. Constant sun exposure, recent organ transplantation, and a weak immune system are the risk factors of this cancer. It affects old people above the age of 65 years. It affects males more than females. It appears as a single painless red or purple nodule on the skin. X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, and biopsy are helpful for its diagnosis. It is treated with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. Its prognosis is good in earlier stages. It can be fatal in the late stages.

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Coping Methods For Merkel Cell Carcinoma

When a patient is diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, the patient and his family come in the situation of great uncertainty, anxiety, and sadness. They have to take important decisions regarding the treatment, management of emotions, insurance, and financial paperwork. The patient and his family should communicate with the health care team and other people who have the same problem to deal with Merkel cell carcinoma and improve the quality of life.(2)

Merkel cell carcinoma is a very rare disease characterized by cancerous growth on the skin. It tends to grow in an uncontrolled manner on the areas of skin which is regularly exposed to the sun. It is especially seen in the head, neck, trunk, arms, and legs. It grows at a rapid speed and spread quickly to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.(1)

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Merkel cell carcinoma is known as neuroendocrine carcinoma. It leads to uncontrollable growth of Merkel cells in the skin. It grows rapidly as a red or purple lump on the skin. It can be benign or cancerous. Several treatment options are available that can help in the management of this cancer. (2) Merkel cell carcinoma can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Surgery is done to remove the bump. Chemotherapy restricts the growth of the cancer cells and it is given along with surgery so that remaining cancerous cells can also be killed. Radiation therapy targets its metastatic spread.(3)

The patient can talk to your physician and he may suggest many publications and websites learn more about cancer. He can also explore more information about the disease and what to expect while treatment.(2)

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Family Support

Merkel cell carcinoma may bring a lot of challenges that can be ended by the patient himself. It is equally important that patients' friends and family provide mental strength and support. Their support may release a lot of stress and anxiety of the patient. Support groups are also available on the internet that may connect the patients with other patients who are coping with this cancer.(2)

Financial Assistance

The treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma may require a lot of finances. Several organizations may help in dealing with medical billing, insurance and reimbursement issues. Governments also provide financial assistance to patients who are unable to afford the cost of the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma.(2)

Benefits And Entitlements

Certain government agencies provide information regarding social security, medical care, state disability, low-income heating energy program, income maintenance, and food stamps.(2)

Housing Or Lodging

Housing and lodging facilities are provided to families of the patient temporarily who travel to long distances away from their home town. American cancer society, the National Association of Hospital hospitality houses and other organizations help in this.(2)

Conclusion

Coping with Merkel cell carcinoma requires awareness of the disease and its treatment. The patient also needs mental and social support from the family and friends. He should also contact with various support groups to know how other people are dealing with it. The government provides financial aid for cancer patients.

References:  

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 28, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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