Lymphocytes are made in the bone marrow and fight infection and disease. There are three types of lymphocytes:
In mycosis fungoides, T-cell lymphocytes become cancerous and affect the skin. In the Sézary syndrome, cancerous T-cell lymphocytes affect the skin and the peripheral blood.
This summary describes the two most common types of cutaneous T-cell
lymphomas: mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome. For information about other types of skin cancer or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, refer to the following PDQ summaries:
Mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome may move through the following phases:
In the Sézary syndrome, skin all over the body is reddened, itchy, peeling, and painful. There may also be patches, plaques, or tumors on the skin. Cancerous T-cells are found in the blood. Mycosis fungoides does not always progress to the Sézary syndrome.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
Mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome are difficult to cure. Treatment is usually palliative, to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life. Patients can live many years with this disease.
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