Lymphoma of the skin
Lymphoma of the skin
Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that take over neighbouring cells and tissues and, at later stages, also spread to organs.Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system. When lymphoma occurs in the skin, it is known as Lymphoma of the skin.
There are two types:
- Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin disease, or Hodgkin’s disease)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which includes all other lymphomas, including all skin lymphomas
Lymphomas of the skin are usually visible. They can appear as:
- Small, pimple-like lesions (papules)
- Flat lesions (patches)
- Thick, raised or lowered lesions (plaques)
- Larger lumps or bumps under the skin (nodules or tumors)
In addition, general symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Profuse sweating (enough to soak clothing), particularly at night
- Severe itchiness
Every type of Cancer has risk factors, but they don’t tell us everything. Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others who get cancer may have had few or no known risk factors.
- Age – While it usually appears in people in the age range of 50-60 or older, certain types of lymphoma can occur in younger people, including children.
- Gender – More common in men.
- Weakened immune system
Lymphoma of the skin be prevented to a certain extent by avoiding the risk factors.
Cancer has different stages, each depicted by a Roman numeral from 1 to 4 (I, II, III and IV). Stage I is the first stage where the tumor is still small while at Stage IV, the patient’s condition is said to be critical because the tumor has spread to other organs of the body. Hence, a cancer’s stage refers to the tumor’s size and extent of spread. This is the simplest form of staging.
In Lymphoma of the skin, the stage depends on whether it is confined to the origin of the cancer (localized cancer, Stage I) or whether it has spread to other organs (metastatic cancer).
The stage decides the kind of treatment you need to get. The greater the stage number, the more complex the treatment.
Needless to say, if the cancer is detected while it is still in Stage I, survival rate is higher. The rate decreases progressively with the increase in stage. Stage III is considered critical, while stage IV is, more often than not, fatal.
However, medicine is evolving everyday to meet these challenges and to keep you happy, healthy and alive!
Since lymphoma of the skin affects well, the skin, the changes are easily noticeable. However, most of the times it takes time to be diagnosed because the signs and symptoms are similar to other skin problems and infections.
Based on the type and stage of the cancer and other factors, primary treatment optionsinclude:
- Treatments directed only at the skin
- Treatments that can affect the whole body (systemic treatments)
Treatment is based on the type of tumor and other factors, and often more than one type of treatment is used. Discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your treatment team to help make the decision that best fits your needs.
If you have any of the symptoms, please do visit the doctor.