Mycosis Fungoides is a rare for of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that affects the skin. This disease is also known as Alibert-Bazin syndrome and granuloma fungiodes. In some patients this disease may progress to be an internal condition.
This disease was first described by Jean-Louis-Marc Alibert in 1806; he was a French skin doctor. The word fungiodes has often confused people because of its similarity to fungus. This disease is not a fungus infection of the skin. The term is used to describe the mushroom like tumors that grow on the skin.
Less than two hundred thousand people in the United States are currently diagnosed with this disease. This disease is also known as a lymphoma of the skin.
The symptoms for Mycosis Fungoides are visual, such as patches, or lesions. The rashes are red and scale-like spreading from one area to the other on the body. The rash can occur on the buttocks, shoulders and back – but not limited to these areas. In some cases, skin ulcers may be present. Itching occurs in about twenty percent of patients. Diagnosis can be challenging because the disease resembles other skin disorders such as psoriasis or eczema.
Diagnosis for Mycosis Fungiodes is made through skin biopsies and visual comparisons to existing photographs of the disease. Several biopsies are recommended from various patches of the skin to obtain an exact diagnosis. This disease is almost always limited to the skin.
Staging cancer is an important process in determining treatment and possible prognosis. Staging this form of cancer requires blood tests, and medical imaging. Staging also involves assessing the internal organs to determine if the cancer has spread.
There are a few treatment options for Mycosis fungoides. Successful treatment means that the disease does not progress. Remission is the term used to define the point at which there are no indications of the disease on the skin. Remission can be permanent. Treatment that stops the progression of the disease is referred to as ‘stable disease.’ When a patient is in ‘stable disease’ phase, it is till a serious situation and monitoring should be done to prevent or diagnose progression of the disease to the lymphatic system, blood or internal organs.
Treatment of this disease involves the following:
ultraviolet light treatment
biological therapy – including retinoids, interferons and rexinoids.
These treatments can be used individually or as a combination therapy for patients. Prognosis is good for patients in which the disease is only present on the skin.
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