Subtype Report: Cutaneous Lymphoma
Cutaneous lymphomas are a heterogeneous group of lymphomas that are often very difficult to diagnose. The symptoms of cutaneous lymphomas may resemble other skin conditions, which adds to the challenges of correctly diagnosing the disease. Patients have at times had to wait years before coming to a conclusive diagnosis. Symptoms of cutaneous lymphomas are not only painful at times, but the effect on body image and confidence plays a huge part in the overall impact of this cancer. Even after treatment, concerns about body image, depression and loss of self-esteem are still acutely felt.
There are diverse treatment options for patients with cutaneous lymphoma, but access to treatment varies greatly by country as does the availability of a physician who specialises in cutaneous lymphomas. Although there are many therapies available to patients, none has resulted in reliable curative outcomes and often responses are short-lived. Clinical trials are limited. More research is needed as patients need new treatments that provide durable remissions and better quality of life.
Patients with cutaneous lymphoma require a more holistic approach to care to meet their varied needs, from a multi-disciplinary team that is led by a specialist physician and includes support from a patient organisation.
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