Causes of Mycosis Fungoides

Mycosis Fungoides is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

More specifically, it is a type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. In fact, it is the most commonly diagnosed form of CTCL. While it has a number of minor variations, Mycosis Fungoides is generally treated with topical medications, although in some cases systemic therapies (such as chemotherapy) may be used.

The most serious form of Mycosis Fungoides is known as Sezary Syndrome, which tends to involve large areas of the skin, lymph node involvement and migration of cancerous T-cells into the bloodstream. This form of CTCL does not have as good a prognosis as Mycosis Fungoides.

In general, Mycosis Fungoides is an indolent lymphoma, meaning that it grows very slowly. Tumors typically don't immediately make people think they're looking at tumors; they tend to look more like rashes, and they might inspire a bit of scratching because they itch. The general symptoms are often mistaken for the common skin disorder eczema.

In order to diagnose Mycosis Fungoides, a biopsy of the diseased tissue is required. Prognosis, which in the case of this disease is generally very good, is also stage-dependent. The earlier the stage, the better the prognosis.

In general, because this disease is indolent, it is considered very, very hard to cure. Most treatment modalities are designed to provide palliation, or symptom relief, and improve their quality of life. Nonetheless, most people with this cancer can expect to live long and fulfilling lives.

Causes of Mycosis Fungoides

Unfortunately, nobody knows what causes Mycosis Fungoides. However, there are several theories that have been put forth.

One possible cause may be found in certain variants of HLA class II genes. These genes help the body's immune system distinguish proteins made by the body and those made by viruses or bacteria. It has been suggested that variations of these genes could affect one's risk of developing Mycosis Fungoides.

Other potential factors include viral or bacterial infections as well as environmental exposures, although little evidence currently exists to support these potential risks.

The most likely explanation for developing Mycosis Fungoides is the same explanation for developing most any cancer, and that is a chromosomal abnormality, something that happens during the lifetime of an individual in the DNA of their cells and can lead to uncontrolled cell growth – which is the hallmark of cancer.

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