Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL)

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL)

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) is a rare type of blood cancer that affects the white blood cells known as T-cells, which play a role in the body's immune system. CTCL forms in the skin and can cause itchy or painful patches, lumps, and lesions. CTCL is grouped into three main subtypes: mycosis fungoides, Sezary syndrome, and subcutaneous T-cell lymphomas.

The exact cause of CTCL is still unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetic mutations that develop in the DNA of T-cells over time. This genetic mutation causes the cells to divide and grow quickly, forming tumors in the skin. CTCL is more commonly found in adults over the age of 40 and it is more common in men than in women.

The symptoms of CTCL can vary depending on the type and stage of the disease. Common symptoms include:

  • Patches, bumps, or lumps on the skin that may be itchy, inflamed, and reddened
  • Skin thickening or discoloration
  • Development of lymph nodes under the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fever

CTCL is typically diagnosed with a skin biopsy, which is the removal of a tissue sample. Other tests, such as blood tests, CT scans, and X-rays may also be used to diagnose CTCL. Treatment for CTCL may include skin treatments, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy. In some cases, a stem cell transplant may be necessary.

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of CTCL and to discuss any concerns with a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve the chances of a successful outcome.