History

Patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) will recall a preceding chronic dermatitis for many years that may have been considered as therapeutically resistant chronic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis. Because of histologic unspecific morphology of the prelymphomatous patch stage and the difficulty in distinguishing those changes from inflammatory skin diseases in early stages, it may take an average of 2-10 years until a definite diagnosis can be established (1,2).

Despite detailed investigations of pre-existing allergies or biologic (e.g. viral), physical or chemical exposures no evidence of the hypothesized association was found (3-5). However, patients with CTCL are at increased risk of some other malignancies, presumably because of the immunosuppressive effects of the disease and the exposure to potentially carcinogenic therapies (6,7).

In contrast to CTCL, which evolve usually over a period of years and decades from erythematous patches, plaques into tumoral lesions, CBCL have a relatively brief history of a few weeks or months without a prelymphomatous stage.

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