It’s not clear what causes cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. A combination of genetic and immunologic factors, and environmental factors such as exposure to ultraviolet rays, certain chemicals is thought to cause specific types of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Certain viral and bacterial skin infections, diet, and stress may also play contributing role. DNA mutations cause “out-of-control” growth and multiplication of T-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell), which result in accumulation of these abnormal lymphocytes in the skin and occasionally other organ systems of the body.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Diagnosis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is done by a group of health care team including
and other experts.
Following tests are performed to diagnose cutaneous T-cell lymphoma:
It involves examination of your skin to detect red patches or hard bumps. Your doctor may check lymph nodes for swelling.
Blood tests are performed to check for presence of lymphoma cells. Advanced laboratory tests, such as flow cytometry and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) may also be carried out if necessary.
A sample of skin (biopsy) is obtained for laboratory analysis to find out if it contains cancerous cells. Multiple skin biopsies may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Such as computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), are performed to check if the cancer cells have metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body.
Treatments available for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma are:
Medications to apply on the skin
Various skin creams, ointments, foams and gels containing corticosteroids are prescribed to relieve skin redness and itchiness. In some cases, your doctor may recommend using preparations that contain chemotherapy drugs and retinoids.
Treatment using light
In light therapy, either ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B light is used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Sometimes, a medicine may be given to sensitize the cancerous cells to light.
Radiation therapy uses high energy beams to destroy cancer cells. Electron beam radiation is a specialized radiation therapy that can be used to target a precise point or all of the skin.
Biological therapy medications that activate your immune system, may be given to destroy cancer cells.
It uses chemical drugs to kill cancer cells.
It uses medicines that attack specific molecules present in cancer cells thereby blocking their growth.
This procedure is approved by US Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced form of the disease. Your blood is drawn out and treated with medicine that increases sensitivity of the cells to light. The blood treated with medicine is exposed to ultraviolet light, which kills the cancer cells. The blood is then re-injected into your body.
Stem cell transplant
In stem cell transplant, your diseased bone marrow is replaced by healthy bone marrow from a donor.
Clinical trials are the experiments that are conducted to find out new drugs or treatment approaches for a disease or a condition. The cure is not guaranteed. You may consult your doctor if you are interested in being a part of any trial.
6 Risk and Complications
Risk factors for Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma are:
Sex: Males are more prone to this condition. The risk in male is almost two times that in female.
Race: Individuals of African-American descent are at greater risk (two times) compared to those of European or Asian descent.
FindATopDoc is a trusted resource for patients to find the top doctors in their area. Be visible and accessible with your up to date contact
information, certified patients reviews and online appointment booking functionality.