Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma
Skin Lymphoma Cancer

What is cutaneous t cell lymphoma or CTCL? It is a cancer affecting the t cells of the skin. Cutaneous t-cell is a rare type of either indolent or aggressive Non Hodgkins lymphoma. It starts with a mutation in the T cells causing them to be malignant. The abnormal T cells then move to your skin and they invade mainly the healthy T lymphocytes of your skin. However, the cutaneous t-cell type is different from the other types of skin cancers.

Related Article: Skin Cancer Facts

Cutaneous T cell skin lymphoma happens mostly among people between the ages of 40 to 60. It is more common among men than women and among blacks than whites. It is rare in children.

Prognosis for cutaneous skin T cell cancer is difficult to do as its progression is unpredictable. There are patients who will survive and live for a long time while there are those who will experience fast tumor growth and eventually, death.

There are 14 types of cutaneous t-cell but only 2 types are the most common.

What are the 2 most common types of skin T Cell lymphoma?

1. Mycosis fungoides is a low grade or indolent cutaneous t cell malignancy. The cancer grows slowly and resembles the shape of a mushroom.

2. Sezary syndrome is also called as red man syndrome because your affected skin becomes a large reddish patch. It is aggressive and fast growing. It affects skin of the whole body, the lymph nodes and blood.

Who are at risk for cutaneous t cell lymphoma?

Cutaneous t-cell is not contagious. You don't get it from being exposed to someone who has it. A lot of studies point to a suppressed or compromised immune system as a risk factor. Cutaneous t cell skin cancer is usually diagnosed among those who . . .

  • are infected with Human Immunodeficiecy Virus (HIV)
  • have undergone organ transplant and
  • have another type of cancer and have been treated with radiation.

    Click here for details on harmful side effects of exposure to radiation.

    Since a weak immune system raises your risk, prevention of cutaneous skin lymphoma involves boosting your immune functions.

    Click here for Steps on How to Boost the Immune System.

    See How Spirulina Health Benefits Makes Your Immune System Strong.

    What are signs of cutaneous t cell skin lymphoma?

    The first sign of cutaneous T cell skin tumor is an itchy rash. The malignant T cells that have migrated to your skin can then cause lesions. These lesions change shape as the cancer progresses. They may resemble other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

    This is why it is very important that you go to a dermatologist to get a correct diagnosis and to rule out cutaneous T cell lymphoma.

    Related Article: Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoma

    What are cutaneous t-cell skin lymphoma treatments?

    Since cutaneous t cell type of lymphoma is not common, only a handful of doctors have tried treating patients diagnosed with it. Treatment options depend on the stage.

    If it's early CTCL, your doctor will recommend any of the following:

    • Steroid or chemotherapy creams and gels that can be applied directly on the affected part of your skin.
    • Photochemotherapy using Psoralen drug and UV light treatment. You take Psoralen to make your skin receptive to UV light. After which, your skin is subjected to UV light to treat the tumor.
    • Radiation can be used to treat early stage CTCL and to relieve symptoms for late stage CTCL.

    For advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, chemotherapy is recommended.

    Related Article: Treatment for Hodgkin and Non Hodgkins Diseases

    What would you like to read next?

    B Cell Lymphoma and Its Prognosis

    Hodgkins Disease

    Lymphoma Prognosis and Survival

    Return from Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma to What is Lymphoma

    Return from Cutaneous T Cell Tumor to Cancer Prevention Home

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