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Pointers With Portela: Jimmy Buffett and Merkel Cell Carcinoma


In this week’s Pointers With Portela, the 208SkinDoc takes an in-depth look at Merkel cell carcinoma after Jimmy Buffett passed away from a 4-year battle with the rare form of skin cancer.

In his most recent YouTube episode, Dustin Portela, DO, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Treasure Valley Dermatology in Boise, Idaho, reviews Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare form of skin cancer that legendary singer, Jimmy Buffett, passed away from earlier this week.

Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, Buffett's website was updated with news of his MCC diagnosis 4 years ago.1 According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, MCC is 40 times rarer than melanoma, and 3000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the US. Dermatology experts predict that the number of MCC diagnoses will increase to 3250 annual cases in the US by 2025.2

Opinions expressed are that of Portela and do not express the views or opinions of Dermatology Times®.

Dr Portela's social media channels:


1. @drdustinportela

2. @208SkinDoc

3. @HealthIQPod

Instagram: @drdustinportela

Twitter: @drdustinportela


1. Sisario B. Jimmy Buffett died of rare form of skin cancer. The New York Times. September 4, 2023. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/04/arts/music/jimmy-buffett-merkel-cell-skin-cancer.html

2. Merkel cell carcinoma overview. Skin Cancer Foundation. Updated September 2023. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/merkel-cell-carcinoma/

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