Mycosis Fungoides - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Mycosis Fungoides, is a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma characterized by patches, plaques, and tumors. It is also known as cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTLC), which affects the skin. Lymphomas are blood tumors. In mycosis fungoides the blood lymphoma stays mostly in the skin. This results in a rash. It first appears on the skin and can spread to the lymph nodes or other organs such as the spleen, liver, or lungs.
The disease is typically slowly progressive and chronic. In individuals with mycosis fungoides, the skin becomes infiltrated with plaques and nodules that are composed of lymphocytes. In advanced cases, ulcerated tumors and infiltration of lymph nodes by diseased cells may occur. The disorder may spread to other parts of the body including the gastrointestinal system, liver, spleen, or brain.
Causes of mycosis fungoides:
Its causes are not known. Mycosis fungoides can occur at any age but it is most common in the 40-60 year old age group. It is a non-contagious disease.
Symptoms of mycosis fungoides:
The symptoms of mycosis fungoides include:
- Patches: There may be one or many patches of red and brown color in the affected area of the skin.
- Tumors: tumors can originate from plaques, red skin, or normal skin. Tumors may develop painful open sores or become infected. Some tumors can become very large. Patches, plaques, and tumors can co-exist.
- Erythrodermic form: In the erythrodermic form, the skin becomes red, thickened, and sometimes peels and flakes. The palms and soles thicken and may crack. Itching is usually intense.
- Rare symptoms are also seen, including itching alone.
- Spreading of skin rash may be there.
- Rashes on Buttock,Shoulder and Back may appear.
- Skin ulcers,may be produce in chronic condition.
- In mycosis fungoides, the skin become lumpy type.
Treatment of mycosis fungoides:
Treatments which may be successful include:
- The steroid creams or ointments are useful to relieve the itching that may occur. Steroids are safe to use.
- Electron beam therapy: is useful to get relief from pain and itching.
- Radiotherapy : This method is used to treat individual areas, in contrast to the approach with PUVA - which treats the whole skin surface.
- Nitrogen mustard: a chemotherapy drug, is sometimes applied to the skin to control mycosis fungoides.
- Photo chemotherapy or photopheresis is a technique used at major medical centers for the treatment of mycosis fungoides.
- Chemotherapy to the skin is an effective remedy for mycosis fungoides.
- Oral or injected chemotherapy are also beneficial.
- Ultraviolet light (PUVA) will often help control the condition.
- Mild mycosis fungoides can be treated effectively with cortisone ointments.