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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2018 April;153(2):273-5

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.17.04987-2

Copyright © 2014 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Merkel cell carcinoma arising on a pre-existing Bowen’s disease: is it just by chance?

Alice CASARI 1, Giuseppe ARGENZIANO 2, Simonetta PIANA 3, Aimilios LALLAS 2, Elvira MOSCARELLA 2, Mara LOMBARDI 2, Margherita RAUCCI 2, Giovanni PELLACANI 1, Caterina LONGO 2

1 Department of Dermatology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 2 Unit of Skin Cancer, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 3 Unit of Pathology, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy


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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a cutaneous carcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation. It arises typically on sun-exposed areas of elderly men as an asymptomatic, rapidly growing, red nodule. Although it is usually found as a solitary nodule, in almost one third of cases MCC may be associated with other malignancies such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas. Merkel cell carcinoma should be considered as differential diagnosis every time we have a rapidly growing, red nodule, arising in an elderly patient with signs of sun-damage. We report a case of MCC developing in association with a pre-existing Bowen’s disease. The association between MCC and Bowen’s disease is quite common and their area of occurrence is usually a sun-exposed area. Ultraviolet radiation contributes to the etiology of both the malignancies.


KEY WORDS: Carcinoma, Merkel cell - Bowen’s disease - Ultraviolet rays

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