What is Mycosis Fungoides?
Mycosis fungoides is a type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that primarily affects the skin. It typically presents as a slow-growing rash and can progress over years to involve more extensive areas of the skin. In later stages, it can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, blood, and internal organs. Mycosis fungoides is characterized by the presence of malignant T-cells in the skin.
The symptoms of mycosis fungoides often resemble skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, making early diagnosis challenging. They include:
- Patches of red or scaly skin, often itchy, which may resemble rashes or eczema.
- Thicker, raised lesions or plaques, particularly in later stages.
- Tumors on the skin in advanced stages.
- In some cases, the skin may become extensively thickened and form folds.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of mycosis fungoides is not known. It’s believed to result from genetic mutations in T-cells, but what triggers these changes is unclear. It is not contagious or inherited.
Diagnosis of mycosis fungoides typically involves:
- Skin Biopsy: This is crucial for a definitive diagnosis and involves examining a skin sample under a microscope.
- Blood Tests: To look for abnormal lymphocytes.
- Imaging Tests: Such as CT scans or PET scans, if systemic involvement is suspected.
Treatment for mycosis fungoides depends on the stage of the disease and may include:
- Skin-Directed Therapies: Including topical corticosteroids, retinoids, and chemotherapy, light therapy (phototherapy), and radiation therapy.
- Systemic Therapies: For more advanced disease, treatments may include systemic chemotherapy, retinoids, or targeted therapies.
- Biologic Therapies: Such as interferon or monoclonal antibodies.
- Stem Cell Transplant: Considered in some advanced or refractory cases.
What support can we give for Mycosis Fungoides?
Mycosis Fungoides is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well-known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Mycosis Fungoides, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: