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Cutaneous Lymphoma

Cutaneous lymphoma is also known as lymphoma of the skin

Cutaneous lymphomas (also known as skin lymphoma) are a kind of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They are cancers of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that primarily involve the skin. The type of cancer is based on what type of white blood cell is involved: B-lymphocytes (B-cell) or T-lymphocytes (T-cell).

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is the most common type of cutaneous lymphoma. People with this type of cancer usually have red, scaly patches on their skin -- or their skin is thick, as if they might have eczema or chronic dermatitis.

Cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (CBCL) are less common. Only about 20-25% of people with cutaneous lymphomas will have CBCL. CBCLs are B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas which come from skin-based B-cells. Systemic or nodal B-cell lymphomas can involve the skin. When a skin biopsy shows B-cell lymphoma it is very important to make sure that the skin is the only organ involved and that this is not a systemic lymphoma presenting in the skin.

The most common forms of CBCL are slow growing or indolent variations and respond well to mild treatments.

Patient Care and Treatment

Cutaneous Lymphoma is treated by the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center's oncologists, using a team approach to care. Patients have their disease discussed not only by our dermatologist oncologists and hematologist oncologists, but also by radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, registered nurses and social workers. By having everyone involved, a personalized treatment plan is developed. In most cases, this discussion happens the same day as the appointment.


Since our program is part of the Rogel Cancer Center, our patients have access to Patient Support Services. To fully understand what this means, please take time to visit the support services area of this website. We outline the services available to our patients at every point in their care.


Patients: Please call 734-647-8902 (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm ET). Healthcare professionals: Please contact our M-LINE service at 800-962-3555.

For more information about the appointment process, including insurance and other questions, please visit our Appointment Request page.

Helpful Resources

This can be an anxious time. The following links are to programs which may be able to help:

Learn more about Cutaneous Lymphoma

The Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation has detailed information about this type of cancer.

Still have questions?

The nurses at Cancer AnswerLine™ have answers. Call 800-865-1125 and you'll get a personal response from one of our registered nurses, who have years of experience in caring for people with cancer.

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