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General Practice 2023

How to treat and diagnose mycosis fungoides

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How to treat and diagnose mycosis fungoides
How to treat and diagnose mycosis fungoides

Mycosis fungoides or chronic T-cell lymphoma is a type of cancer characterized by the presence of skin lesions that, if left untreated, progress to the internal organs. Mycosis fungoides is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is a type of lymphoma characterized by enlarged lymph nodes. Learn more about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Despite the name, mycosis fungoides has nothing to do with fungi, so it is not contagious and is not treated with antifungal agents, but with radiotherapy or topical corticosteroids according to the stage of the disease.

The first symptoms of mycosis fungoides are skin lesions that can spread throughout the body, but are difficult to diagnose.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How the treatment is done

Treatment for mycosis fungoides is performed according to the guidance of the oncologist or hematologist and depends on the stage of the disease, and can be done with chemotherapy or radiotherapy and the use of topical corticosteroids.

Treatment for this type of lymphoma should be started as soon as possible, as it evolves quickly and treatment in more advanced stages is more difficult.

Diagnosis of mycosis fungoides

The diagnosis of mycosis fungoides can be made by a dermatologist through skin exams, such as biopsy. However, in the initial phase of the disease, it is difficult to concretely assess the results, and the physician must monitor the patients and with the objective of verifying if there is an evolution of the lesions and the emergence of other symptoms.Understand how the dermatological exam is performed.

The diagnosis can also be made by a hematologist through blood tests, which indicate an increase in the number of leukocytes and anemia, and tissue biopsy should also be performed. See what it is and what the biopsy is for.

To monitor the development of the disease and response to treatment, the doctor may also request a skin biopsy, in addition to a tomography of the chest, abdomen and pelvis.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of mycosis fungoides are:

  • Skin blemishes;
  • Itching;
  • Skin peeling;
  • Development of knots under the skin;
  • Dry skin;
  • Lymphocyte increase in blood test.

These symptoms appear mainly in people over 50 years of age and male. The symptoms of mycosis fungoides begin as an inflammatory process but soon after it turns into a neoplastic process.

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