Mycosis fungoides is an uncommon skin ailment that is characterized by abnormal accumulation of T cells on the skin. Mycosis fungoides is also called as Alibert-Bazin syndrome. These T cells are mature malignant cells that appear on the skin. The cause behind this ailment is not known. Its skin manifestations resemble psoriasis, eczema, and allergic reactions on the skin. Its symptoms are itching, scaling and appearance of red rashes, patches or tumors. Its diagnosis is confusing and difficult to make due to its resemblance with other skin diseases. It is treated with local application of corticosteroids, ultraviolet rays, radiation or chemotherapy.
Is Mycosis Fungoides Cancerous?
Mycosis fungoides is a rare condition of the skin, which is characterized by the proliferation of white blood cells within the skin. In this condition, T cells (a type of white blood cells) grow too much and proliferate abnormally from the blood into the skin. These T cells are mature malignant cells that appear on the skin. It is a type of cancer that usually involves the skin. This process is slow and gradual that develops over several years. It primarily affects the skin, but may spread to blood and lymph nodes and other internal organs in 10% of its patients.
The exact cause of mycosis fungoides is not known. It can be a sign of serious illness like blood cancer. Mycosis fungoides affects men more than women. Anyone of any age can develop this condition. However, it is common after the age of 40 years up to 60 years. It is not contagious. The course of the disease is unpredictable in any individual.
The predominant symptoms of mycosis fungoides are red rashes or patches on the skin with intense itching and scaling. It can develop in any part of the body especially in the areas covered by clothes, protected from sunlight. It has remissions and relapses even after treatment.
It develops in four phases on the skin, which may take years to show its manifestations.
First Phase- it begins with the appearance of red itchy rash over the skin which is covered and is not exposed to the sunlight. They are flat and smooth in this phase. It may end in months or years.
Second Phase- in the second phase, these rashes turn into thin red patches.
Third Phase- patches develop into hard plaques and small raised bumps. They are also red and itchy.
Fourth Phase – In this phase, red plaques turn into ulcer or tumors like mushrooms. These skin tumors are raised nodules that may or may not form sores or turn into ulcers. In this phase, the tumors may break and discharge fluid. The affected areas are painful and may catch infections.
These manifestations may be limited to a particular area of skin or may spread to the skin of the whole body. It has a slow and gradual course. It resembles eczema, psoriasis or an allergic reaction.
Mycosis fungoides is a cancerous ailment. It is not hereditary and does not affect life expectancy in the most patient. It is slow and static cancer that rarely progresses to other organs such as lymph nodes and internal organs.
Its diagnosis is very difficult and confusing for the doctors as it resembles other skin ailments. Skin biopsy is only a confirmatory test for this disease. However several biopsies set the conclusion that one has this ailment.
Mycosis fungoides can be treated with local corticosteroid application, phototherapy (exposure to UV rays), radiation and systemic chemotherapy. Its prognosis depends on the phase of the skin affections and duration after its occurrence.
Mycosis fungoides is a cancerous condition that mainly affects the skin. The skin has specific manifestations such as red rashes or patches or plaques or tumors. It happens due to a proliferation of abnormal T-cells on the skin. In rare cases, it may spread to lymph nodes and internal organs.
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