By Robert J Weiss, MD PC
March 17, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

 

       Did you know that non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States ?

       Breast cancer followed by lung cancer rank # 2 and # 3 respectively.

       And primary lung cancer,or bronchogenic carcinoma,is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both

men and women. 

       About 85 % of lung cancers of all types are linked to smoking.

      The majority of the other 15 % of lung cancers not related to smoking are found in women for 

reasons not clearly known,although exposure of the chest cavity to radiation as well as exposure

to environmental toxins such as asbestos and radon are also linked to an increase risk of developing

lung cancer.

       Now,getting back to skin cancer,I find it extremely interesting that a type of skin cancer called the

Merkel cell carcinoma and, which is extremely aggressive, is of neuroendocrine origin(please see my previous

post on merkel cell carcinoma) as is a type of lung cancer,previously known as oat-cell)and now called

small cell cancer which has an eighty percent rate of metastasis at the time of diagnosis.And,is obviously

also extremely aggressive.

      In my opinion,a diagnosis of merkel cell skin cancer is one of the most serious diagnoses in

dermatology- in many cases more so than malignant melanoma,depending on the latter's depth and

staging at the time of diagnosis.

     The FDA has recently approved the drug Bavenicio( known chemically as avelumab) to treat metastatic

merkel cell carcinoma(which means it has spread to other parts of the body). And,about 1600 people in

the USA are diagnosed with merkel cell carcinoma annually.

 

 

       

 

      

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