First, let’s define what mycosis fungoides is. It is a type of blood cancer. What it does is it affects the skin of the person primarily, and then over time, it will slowly progress internally. Common symptoms include but not limited to itchy skin, skin lesions, tumors, and rash.
The cause of this type of cancer until now is still unclear. Most of the case, it is not hereditary also it usually affects people who are at the age of 20 and more. Men are the ones who get this compared to women. Various treatments include ultraviolet light, exposure to the sunlight, chemotherapy, topical corticosteroids, as well as radiotherapy.
Let’s discuss in detail about its symptoms that are visible. One thing is for sure; it does affect the skin. So, there will be lesions, rashes, tumors, and even itching is also common. The symptoms do not appear right away. They do pop up progressively. Thus, expect during the early stages of mycosis fungoides, there will be the appearance of lesions of which will be shown as scaly patches. Most of these lesions do appear mostly around the butt area. Then, as it progresses, the patches will turn into plaques will slowly be distributed towards the entire body. About it’s more advanced stage, it would be classified as erythroderma, which leads to scaling and having severed pruritus
When it comes to diagnosis, it is quite difficult. Why? While it’s earlier stage, the disease can often have the resemblance of other diseases like psoriasis or eczema. Like with other serious illness, it is highly recommended to seek the opinion of a doctor. The diagnosis of such disease is made by having a skin biopsy. Moreover, more biopsies will be needed to ensure to get a more accurate diagnosis.
When it comes to knowing what stage such disease is in, several tests will be required this is so to assess the internal organs, blood, and nodes. For those patients who do have this disease, it has been apparent in their skin symptoms like plaques, and flat spots.
Do take note that survival rate of this disease during the last five years has been observed is about 69 percent.
About treatment, this disease can be treated in different ways. As stated above, it involves ultraviolet light, being exposed to the sunlight, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, radiation, systemic therapies, etc. Most often, treatments are a combination of what has been mentioned. As for what treatments a patient should undergo would depend on the preference of the patients and therapies he or she has access to. Also, it should be as per the recommendation of the physician, what stage the disease is in, patient’s allergies, any resistance before therapies if any, and a lot more to consider. Once the treatment has been deemed successful, the disease is going to go into what is called as a non-progressing state. The thing about this disease is that it’s incurable. However, some patients have experienced what long periods of disease control. It all boils down to the quality of the patient’s life. This should be the main objective of any patient. This is to minimize going through treatments and have a stable disease that is not going to progress in the long run.
Another important thing to remember is quite rare that this disease is going to appear right before a person reaches the age of 20. This disease is noticeable more in men compared to women, more so with those who are at the age of 50 and over.