Mycosis fungoides

Mycosis fungoides


Mycosis fungoides is a subtype of the cancer known as lymphoma of the skin (cancer). White blood cells can become cancerous and cause this condition. Rashes on the skin are frequently the initial manifestation of mycosis fungoides. It is not curable, but patients who are treated in a timely manner often report going for extended periods of time without experiencing any symptoms.

The disease known as mycosis fungoides (my-KOH-sis fun-GOY-deez) is a condition that affects T-cell lymphocytes (white blood cells). The T-cells in your body will become cancerous if you have this condition, and it will show up on your skin.

Mycosis fungoides is a form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which is a subtype of non-lymphoma Hodgkin’s that develops in T-cells found in the skin and is diagnosed by medical professionals as a cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.


Symptoms of mycosis fungoides


STAGE I: The first sign of mycosis fungoides is typically a generalised itching sensation known medically as pruritus, as well as pain in the area of the skin that is affected. Insomnia is another possible symptom of this condition. There is a widespread appearance of red (erythematous) patches on the skin of the trunk as well as the extremities. It’s possible that these lesions will look like other skin conditions, like eczema, psoriasis, parapsoriasis, or lichen planus.

STAGE II: The second stage of the infection is known as the plaque stage or the “infiltrating stage.” Plaques of a purplish-red colour, either circular or oval in shape, develop on the affected areas. It’s possible that the buttocks will be the first area affected. At first, these plaques are typically quite small and will have an elevated position. There is a possibility that the plaques will gradually become larger and coalesce, eventually covering approximately ten percent of the body. At this stage, the lesions might take on the appearance of a skin condition known as exfoliative dermatitis.

There is also the possibility of developing a condition known as lipomelanotic reticulosis, which affects the lymph nodes. This condition can be identified by the abnormal development of particular cells known as macrophages as well as the presence of fatty tissue that is dark in colour. Lymphadenitis, an inflammation of the lymph nodes, is an additional potential complication that may emerge.

STAGE III: The fungoid or tumour stage of the disease is the third and final stage of the condition. The patient develops tumours that resemble mushrooms; the tumours may have a rounded or lobulated appearance. These ulcerated lesions typically range in diameter from half an inch to six inches, and their colour can be described as bluish or reddish-brown. There is a possibility that the layers of skin will thicken, and that abnormal bands of lymphoid cells will infiltrate the upper layer of skin. It is also possible for these cells to invade the empty spaces found in the lower layers of skin, resulting in the death of skin cells (necrosis).

Individuals who are afflicted with the tumeur d’emblee form of the disease may develop large nodules despite the absence of any plaque formation in their bodies.

STAGE IV: At this point in the disease’s progression, it may have spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms may include a general sense of illness (malaise) and weakness, as well as elevated temperatures, loss of weight, and anaemia. It is possible for there to be involvement of the gastrointestinal tract with or without ulceration of the intestines. It is also possible for the liver and spleen to grow larger. In addition, you may experience coughing as well as difficulty swallowing (also known as dysphagia). In certain instances, the muscle of the heart may also be affected. Eye pain and a loss of the ability to see clearly may be experienced when the brain is involved.


Diagnosis of mycosis fungoides

Mycosis fungoides is similar to a number of other skin conditions in its symptoms. A simple visual examination of the skin might not be enough to make an accurate diagnosis. Mycosis fungoides is a skin condition that is frequently confused with other skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis.

To confirm or rule out mycosis fungoides, your healthcare provider will likely use additional tests such as:

  • Skin biopsy or lymph node biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • CT scans
  • PET scans


Treatment of mycosis fungoides


The treatment for mycosis fungoides is determined by the stage of the cancer and the type of skin changes. The alleviation of symptoms and enhancement of one’s quality of life are the primary focuses of many treatment options.

  • Skin directed therapy: The cancer on the areas of your skin that are affected can be treated with topical gels, steroids, retinoids, or ultraviolet (UV) light. Phototherapy is a treatment that uses ultraviolet light and an oral medication called psoralens to kill cancer cells that have spread to the skin. A topical form of chemotherapy, such as mechlorethamine, may also be utilized by your healthcare provider.
  • Systemic therapy: Methotrexate and bexarotene, both of which are taken orally, are capable of treating the patient’s entire body. Interferon gamma and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors belong to other categories of pharmaceutical drugs. Chemotherapy drugs are administered intravenously and may include gemcitabine, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, or pralatrexate, amongst others.
  • ImmunotherapyThese drugs boost your immune system to attack cancer cells. Researchers are still learning about how this works.
  • Monoclonal antibody as targeted therapy: These medicines detect and destroy cancer cells. Healthcare providers may use targeted therapy if your body has not responded to other systemic therapy, such as mogamulizumab-kpkc (POTELIGEO®) and brentuximab vedotin.
  • Radiation therapy: With radiation therapy, strong beams of energy from outside your body can destroy cancer cells or stop their growth.

Traditional chemotherapy is only occasionally used as a treatment for mycosis fungoides by medical professionals. There is no guarantee that chemotherapy will successfully treat mycosis fungoides. It is also associated with a substantial risk of adverse effects.

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  • July 3rd, 2022

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