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The Henry Ford Dermatology Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Clinic sees more patients than nearly any other in Michigan. Henry Ford dermatologists are known nationally for expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of this rare skin cancer. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma arises within the body from changes in the immunologic system. Unlike the skin cancers of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma, this type of skin cancer is not caused by over-exposure to the sun. However, like malignant melanoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a serious cancer that can be life-threatening if not diagnosed promptly and treated early.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a form of disease with various types and subtypes, such as mycosis fungoides and its subtypes. Diagnosis involves physical examination by a dermatologist, microscopic analysis of skin shavings by a dermatopathologist, and blood tests.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma affects the skin differently according to types of the disease and the different stages of the disease. Early stages may cause small spots of red patches on the skin, which may look like eczema. Patches may grow to form irregular shaped borders, and over time in some cases tumors may appear on the skin and the red patches of skin may develop ulcer sores. Itchiness and pain may occur.
Therapies may be used alone or in combination depending on the type and stage of the disease: