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How often does Merkel cell carcinoma occur?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Approximately 1,200 new cases of MCC are diagnosed in the United States each year, compared with almost 60,000 new cases of melanoma and more than 1 million new cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer. The incidence of MCC has been rising, with a 3-fold increase between 1986 and 2001. Most patients diagnosed with MCC are over age 50 at diagnosis (the average age is 69), with only 5 percent of cases diagnosed in those under age 50. MCC is more common in white people than in other racial/ethnic groups. Some cases have been reported in Japanese people, but very few have been seen in black people.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute

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