Skin Cancer Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Definition and Description | Dermatology Education Skin Cancer Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Definition and Description Video
October 18, 2017

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  • Skin Cancer Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Definition and Description

    In 1806, the term mycosis fungoides (MF) was first used to described a disease with large necrotic skin tumors that resembled mushrooms. The term cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is now used to describe a group of malignant T-cell lymphomas with primary manifestations in the skin. MF is the most common type of CTCL. Sezary syndrome (SS) is the leukemic form of MF.

    Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a specific T-cell lymphoma of the skin that can invade the lymph nodes, peripheral blood and internal organs. CTCL is a clonal lymphoid malignancy of helper T lymphocytes. There are several stages of CTCL: pre-mycosis fungoides, patch stage, plaque stage tumor stage and an erythrodermic form called Sezary syndrome. All of these stages can be progressive and cause death. The cause is unknown.

    The incidence of CTCL is about 1 in 100,000. It is more common in men than women. CTCL is more common in African-Americans than Caucasians. Most cases are diagnosed in the 5th and 6th decades of life. The prognosis of CTCL is related to the stage at which the disease is diagnosed.