Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the Hand in a Young Patient

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Surgery, Oncology

Journal Title

Journal of hand surgery global online


Merkle cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, malignant neuroendocrine skin cancer that typically affects patients in the seventh decade of life. Reports of MCC affecting young patients are limited, and there are few mentions of the management of these lesions when they present on the hand and fingers. Hand surgeons must be educated regarding the diagnosis of MCC and the multidisciplinary management required to achieve optimal results. We present the case of a 22-year-old woman with MCC arising on the dorsum of the second digit. Treatment with wide local excision, coverage of the resulting soft tissue defect with a reverse second dorsal metacarpal artery flap, and subsequent radiotherapy resulted in no evidence of disease recurrence or metastasis at 1 year. This case highlights the commonly encountered delay in the diagnosis of this lesion and the necessity for a high index of suspicion when evaluating a patient with an enlarging, solitary hand nodule.

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