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Skin lymphoma service

What is lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the body's immune system. There are many different types. A skin lymphoma is one which is affecting the skin. Many skin lypmphomas affect only the skin and these are called primary cutaneous lymphomas. Many of these are slow growing and do not significantly affect general health or life expectancy. Some may progress or be more serious.

A skin lymphoma usually starts with a rash or a lump on the skin. It may not be obvious at first, and it can be difficult to make a diagnosis.

If a lymphoma affects the lymph nodes of the body or other internal organs, it is called a systemic lymphoma. It is important to tell the difference between a lymphoma just affecting the skin, and one which is systemic.

Treatment may not always be necessary. When it is it may just require simple creams. Alternatively we may need to consider options of ultraviolet light therapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

What we do

If your doctor suspects a skin lymphoma, the diagnosis is usually confirmed by taking a sample of skin (skin biopsy). Sometimes it is necessary to take several biopsies to be sure of the diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis of skin lymphoma is suspected you may be referred to a dermatologist with an interest in skin lymphoma. It may also be necessary to see other specialists with different expertise in this area. For this reason we run a multidisciplinary team clinic which is attended by consultants with various areas of expertise to decide on the diagnosis and best treatment for the skin lymphoma.

The multidisciplinary team is made up of:

Name

Job Title

What they do

Giles Dunnill

Consultant dermatologist

Diagnose skin problems, use treatments directed at the skin such as creams, ultraviolet therapy. Clinical lead for the MDT

Matthew Beasley

Oncologist

Diagnose and treat lymphomas using radiotherapy

Alison Cameron

Oncologist

Diagnose and treat lymphomas using radiotherapy

Chris Price

Oncologist

Diagnose and treat lymphomas using chemotherapy

Steve Robinson

Consultant in haematology and bone marrow transplant

Diagnose and treat lymphomas using chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant

Joya Pawade

Histopathologist

Examines biopsies using microscope to diagnose lymphomas

Rebecca Hallam

Specialist nurse

Key worker to support patients during diagnosis and treatment

 

Useful sources of information:

 

For general information on lymphoma, including systemic lymphoma: http://www.lymphomas.org.uk/

For detailed information on lymphoma of the skin:

http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/LymphomaoftheSkin/DetailedGuide/lymphoma-of-the-skin-what-is-lymphoma-of-the-skin

For information on cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma (mycosis fungoides):http://www.bad.org.uk/site/841/default.aspx

For detailed information on Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and other lymphomas:

http://cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk.org/type/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/about/types/cutaneous-t-cell-lymphoma

Also the Macmillan website:

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Lymphomanon-Hodgkin/TypesofNHL/CutaneousT-cell.aspx.