Department of General Surgery, General Surgery Unit, Rare Hormonal Tumors Group, Surgery of Rare Hormonal Tumors, Azienda Ospedaliera Istituti Ospitalieri, Viale Concordia 1, 26100 Cremona, Italy.
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive neuroendocrine tumor of the skin. Fourty-eight patients with MCC were observed at the Rare Hormonal Tumors Group of Cremona Hospital, 15 of these with unknown primary site. Due to rarity of Merkel cell carcinoma, clinical experience is generally limited. Data from our series confirm the current recommendations. Wide surgical excision must be associated with radiotherapy also in early stages in order to avoid local relapse and the rapid progression of disease. In advanced stages chemotherapy is the standard despite the short duration of responses and poor quality of life. The data of our series, characterized by a high demand for second opinion, offer some insight about the real rarity of the tumor, the difficulty of managing of disease in our country secondary to a wrong cultural approach to the problem, the indiscriminate use of molecules unnecessary and often expensive, the lack of protocols, and the presence of guidelines often ignored. This results in very poor survival associated with a very low quality of life, requiring to find the right direction towards a correct management of disease.
Am old enough to understand the difference between the Bay of Pigs - and roasting a pig at a epicurian feast. Been thru the hippy, yippie and yuppie years - always remaining who I am.
Very much believe in "Sing your own song - weave your own tapestry"
Am young enough to still know the thrill of new discoveries, the beauty of the evening, to celebrate the joy of another tommorow.
Survived these many decades with a severe medical problems. Sorting out the maze of now having two lymphomas and all their nasty little companions, but I continue.
Besides, being a simple iconoclastic eclectic, have been called many things. An incurable romanticist - with a strong touch of reality. Thinker, intellectual (God, how I hate that term) - been told I am a lion with the heart of the poet.
Know how to wage war and conquer my foes - but would rather be known as one who brings hope and life. To bring hope into anothers life is the ultimate of joys.
Life should be about bringing hope, peace, vision... a sense of purpose beyond yourself.