Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymph tissue throughout the body, including the skin, intestines, bone marrow, tonsils, and spleen. T-cell lymphomas account for the majority of skin (cutaneous) lymphomas.


The two cutaneous T-cell lymphoma common types include:

  • Sezary syndrome
  • Mycosis fungoides


The signs and symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma include:

  • Skin patches that seem lighter in color than the surrounding skin
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Itchy round areas of skin that may be scaly
  • Skin thickening of the soles and the palms
  • Lumps that grow on the skin and can break
  • Irritating rash-like skin redness that covers the whole body
  • Hair loss


Your healthcare professional will inquire about your past health conditions and physically examine you. A biopsy of a skin lymph node may also be performed. This is a tiny sample of tissue obtained with a needle or by minor surgery. The tissue is subsequently examined in a laboratory for cancer cells. A biopsy will be requested to determine the medical condition. You may also have bone marrow, blood samples, and lymph nodes collected to look for lymphoma cells. This will be beneficial to determine the condition’s stage.


There are several therapies available for persons who have cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Which therapies are appropriate for your specific condition, including the lymphoma stage, is determined by you. Most people with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma are treated with a combination of medications.

Among the treatment options available are:

  • Radiation therapy. X-rays are used in this therapy to kill cancer cells and reduce tumors. TSEBT (total skin electron beam therapy) may be utilized to treat cutaneous lymphoma.


  • Skin ointments and creams. Creams and ointments may be used to apply medications to your skin. Corticosteroids can help in the regulation of skin redness and itching. Chemotherapy may be used on the skin to kill cancer cells.


  • Medications. Retinoids, corticosteroids, and immunotherapy are examples of such treatments. Others are administered orally or with an injection.


  • Photodynamic therapy. This method employs UV (ultraviolet) light and drugs known as psoralens to destroy cancer cells.

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