Many effective treatment options exist for cutaneous lymphoma. You and your health care team will determine the best course of treatment based upon the following set of variables:
In treating cutaneous lymphomas, unlike most other cancers, physicians often use the same treatment repeatedly, such as light therapy and radiation. What worked once, often will work again. Patients with early stage disease can often achieve long-lasting remissions with skin-directed therapies. In CTCL, since malignant T-cells are thought to spend the majority of their time in the skin and are dependent upon the skin for survival, therapies aimed at the skin are likely to be effective for a long time.
The goal of treatment for cutaneous lymphoma is to clear up all patches, plaques, or tumors; to reduce the number of T-lymphocytes in the blood (for Sézary syndrome); and to relieve symptoms such as pain, itching, burning, and redness. Additionally, patients tend to handle treatments better when they maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen and report any new symptoms or changes to their physicians during treatment.
Treatment choices for cutaneous lymphoma are directed at either the skin (topical) or the entire body (systemic). It’s important to discuss with your healthcare team the benefits and disadvantages of both before making a decision on your treatment course.