CTCL stands for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of T-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells) that involves the skin. There are several types of CTCL, but mycosis fungoides is the most common.
Mycosis fungoides typically presents with red, scaly patches or plaques on the skin. Itching is common, with more than 80% of people with mycosis fungoides reporting the symptom. Mycosis fungoides often mimics eczema, psoriasis, or other chronic dermatitis. Because of this, it is common for the diagnosis of mycosis fungoides to be delayed, sometimes by years or decades.
Most people with mycosis fungoides have chronic and slow growing conditions that are treatable and not usually life-threatening. Only a minority of people with mycosis fungoides develop advanced disease with tumor formation.
As an autoimmune condition, mycosis fungoides occurs when the body’s own white blood cells attack its skin cells. Symptoms associated with mycosis fungoides can include enlarged lymph nodes, hair loss and skin discoloration. Those with mycosis fungoides may notice thickening of certain skin areas, such as the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet.
Mycosis fungoides treatment can include medicated creams, radiation therapy, oral steroids and/or narrowband UVB phototherapy, also known as light therapy.
Array Skin Therapy offers narrowband UVB light therapy to help lessen or alleviate bothersome skin symptoms associated with mycosis fungoides. Light therapy treatment for mycosis fungoides can reduce inflammation, resulting in less discomfort and itching. This can greatly improve the quality of life for those living with mycosis fungoides.
Light therapy treatment for mycosis fungoides is required two or three times each week and may be necessary to continue for several months, depending on the treating dermatologist’s orders. Patients usually notice some improvement in their symptoms by 10-15 treatments, with more significant improvement noted around 30 treatments. If you are interested in light therapy for the treatment of mycosis fungoides, call us to schedule a consultation with one of our nurse practitioners.