About granuloma fungoides

What is granuloma fungoides?

Mycosis Fungoides is a rare form of T-cell lymphoma of the skin (cutaneous); the disease is typically slowly progressive and chronic. In individuals with Mycosis Fungoides, the skin becomes infiltrated with plaques and nodules that are composed of lymphocytes. In advanced cases, ulcerated tumors and infiltration of lymph nodes by diseased cells may occur. The disorder may spread to other parts of the body including the gastrointestinal system, liver, spleen, or brain.

What are the symptoms for granuloma fungoides?

Psoriasis symptom was found in the granuloma fungoides condition

Symptoms of mycosis fungoides can look like symptoms of some common and less serious skin conditions, like Eczema or psoriasis.

Since mycosis fungoides usually worsens very slowly, it may look like a skin Rash or scaly patch of skin for years or even decades. Because of this, people with this skin cancer may at first be misdiagnosed as having another skin condition.

If you have mycosis fungoides, your symptoms will vary depending on the stage you are in. At the start, mycosis fungoides may look like a sunburn or rash. It typically begins on an area of the skin that does not get much sun, like your back, belly, chest, buttocks, or upper thighs.

The color of skin Lesions may also vary from red to purple or brown, depending on your skin tone. You may have:

  • skin Redness or irritation
  • rash or red to brown or purple lesions
  • white, light brown, or tan spots or lesions
  • scaly or shiny patches
  • flat skin lesions
  • thicker or raised plaques
  • large skin nodules

The Rash will eventually turn into flat, scaly patches that may look like common skin conditions such as Eczema or psoriasis. In some people, this stage may look like light spots. This is more common in children, teenagers, and people with darker skin tones.

Patches eventually thicken and raise to become Plaques that may look like thicker skin or welts. These Plaques may also be Itchy and resemble other common and less-serious skin conditions.

Later stage mycosis fungoides can cause more severe skin symptoms as the cancer spreads into the body. This can result in:

  • skin rash
  • scaly patches
  • raised plaques
  • sore-like tumors or growths on the skin

Later stage mycosis fungoides that has turned into Sézary syndrome may lead to:

  • widespread skin color changes
  • swelling
  • peeling
  • severe itching
  • thicker skin on the palm of the hands and soles of the feet

In the late stages of mycosis fungoides, there may be a general feeling of illness as the condition spreads throughout the body. Symptoms include:

  • severe fatigue
  • weakness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • coughing
  • fever
  • anemia
  • weight loss

In the late stages, your digestive and heart systems may also be affected. If the tumor cells reach the brain, vision may become blurred.

What are the causes for granuloma fungoides?

Doctors are not sure about the exact causes of mycosis fungoides and other types of T-cell lymphomas. Mycosis fungoides may begin when T cells change or mutate and turn into cancer cells. T cells or T lymphocytes are white blood cells that usually help the immune system protect the body.

It’s not known what causes T-cells to change. Some studies found that certain bacteria, viruses, or chemicals from the environment may play a role in causing mycosis fungoides.

In a 2020 study of people with Sézary syndrome (a related kind of T-cell lymphoma), researchers found that overgrowth of a common bacteria type that lives on the skin called staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) may trigger T-cell changes in some cases.

People in this study showed improvement in symptoms when they took antibiotic medication that reduced this bacteria type.

Genetics and other factors may also increase the risk of getting mycosis fungoides. Some types of genetic or chromosomal mutations may increase the risk of getting this skin disease. A clinical study found that 18 percent of patients with mycosis fungoides or Sezary syndrome had the same genetic mutations.

What is Sézary syndrome?

Sézary syndrome is a related condition where irregular T cells from the skin make their way into the blood, according to 2019 research. This sometimes happens in late-stage mycosis fungoides, but people with Sézary syndrome tend to have these cells in the early stages as well.

Sézary syndrome is a more aggressive form of T-cell lymphoma. Its main feature is erythroderma, which is skin redness that covers the whole body. In its early stages, it can look like eczema.

In addition to erythroderma, people with Sézary syndrome may have:

  • soreness
  • swelling over much of their body
  • severe itching

What are the treatments for granuloma fungoides?

Treatment for mycosis fungoides depends on the stage of this disease. There are currently more than 30 different types of therapies with more currently undergoing trials. Some treatments help control symptoms like skin soreness, swelling, and itching.

Standard therapies and management for earlier stages of this skin condition mainly involve topical (skin) therapies such as:

The goals of later-stage treatments for mycosis fungoides are to shrink tumors and slow the spread of cancer cells. Treatment may involve both internal and external treatment, including:

Some therapies and medications for mycosis fungoides and other types of cancers can cause serious side effects that may limit how much treatment you receive.

What are the risk factors for granuloma fungoides?

While still extremely rare, mycosis fungoides is twice as common in men than in women.

It is also more likely to happen in people 40 years or older.

While most people with mycosis fungoides are white, the incidence rate is higher among Blacks. Those who identified as Black or African American also experienced earlier onset and poorer outlook. The reasons for this racial disparity are not well understood.

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