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What is lymphoma and cutaneous lymphoma?

 

What is lymphoma?

Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer. The two main forms of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, grow abnormally. The body has two main types of lymphocytes: B-lymphocytes (B-cells) and T-lymphocytes (T-cells). Cancerous lymphocytes can travel to many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood or other organs, and can accumulate to form tumors.

T-cell lymphomas, which occur when T-lymphocyte cells become cancerous, account for 10-15 percent of all NHL cases in the United States. There are many different forms of T-cell lymphoma, some of which are extremely rare. Most T-cell lymphomas can be classified into two broad categories: aggressive (fast-growing) and indolent (slow-growing).

What is cutaneous lymphoma?

One of the most common forms of T-cell lymphoma is cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a general term for T-cell lymphomas that involve the skin including mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome, the two most common types of CTCL.

Other types of cutaneous lymphoma include lymphomatoid papulosis, peripheral T-cell lymphoma, cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma, adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, lymphomatoid granulomatosis, granulomatous slack skin disease, and pagetoid reticulosis to name a few.

In addition to involving the skin, CTCL can also involve the lymph nodes, blood and other internal organs.

For more information, click here for “Fast Facts on Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma".