Leukemia and lymphoma are two separate types of blood cancers whose skin rashes can be a symptom.
According to reliable statistics, one out of every 20 people with cancer develops skin rash. Skin rash in blood cancers may be similar to eczema and other common skin problems, but on the contrary, Blood cancer skin rashes do not respond to common treatments and will develop day by day.
In the following, you will read more about skin rashes in blood cancers.
>Leukemias and a variety of lymphomas and leukemias-lymphomas can present with refractory and progressive skin rashes.
What are the symptoms of blood cancers?
A group of symptoms can be a warning sign of blood cancer:
- Fatigue and weakness
- weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Spontaneous bruising of the skin
- Unusual bleeding
- Swollen gums
- Abdominal enlargement due to increased spleen size
- Early satiety due to very large spleen
- Fever or chills
- Severe skin discoloration
- Abdominal pain
- Night sweats
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Bone pain
- Recurrent and chronic infections
And in 5% of cases, skin rashes can be a symptom of blood cancers.
Skin rashes as a sign of blood cancers:
- tiny red rashes:
Red pinpoint rashes can be a sign of some leukemias.
These tiny red spots are called petechiae by doctors.
These small red spots originate from the breakdown of the delicate blood vessels on the surface of the skin.
Small and delicate vessels under the skin are called capillary by doctors. During blood cancers, a person’s platelets undergo abnormal changes both in number and function, Therefore, the platelets of a person with leukemia cannot prevent blood from leaking from the broken wall of subcutaneous capillaries, the blood leaks under the skin and manifests as tiny reddish-brown spots.
In an acute form of leukemia called AML, the affected person’s gums become swollen and bleed frequently.
In an AML type, the affected person will develop a collection of dark colored spots on the surface of their skin
In a type of AML, malignant cells may accumulate on the surface of the skin and mucosa and form a prominent lesion called chloroma or granulocytic sarcoma.
>Rashes that occurs in people may be confused with normal and transient rashes on the body, so if you have a rash that does not respond to common treatments and is growing and spreading, be sure to see your doctor for a closer look.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to skin rashes in blood cancers is MF disease or Mycosis fungoidus.
It is a cutaneous lymphoma (more precisely, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphocyte T lymphoma).
This lymphoma primarily affects the skin and in advanced stages, it affects the internal organs of the body, the lymph nodes and sometimes even the bone marrow.
Most men over the age of forty-five develop MF.
But what about skin rashes in this blood cancer?
This disease has a slow course and progresses over the years.
In the early stages, the skin becomes very dry, itchy and flaky, and does not respond to common treatments and spreads.
Gradually, dark spots appear on the skin.
As MF progresses, the affected person will have prominent, growing masses on the surface of the body.
The disease gradually spreads to the lymph nodes and affects the spleen, liver and bone marrow.
What are the five steps that doctors prescribe for MF disease?
Doctors prescribe five steps for MF disease.
Stage one: A dry, flaky skin with severe itching locally in one area of the skin.
Stage Two: Dry, scaly skin with red spots, no lumps on the surface of the skin, and with swollen lymph nodes with no malignant cells inside the swollen lymph nodes.
Gradually lumps form in the skin.
Stage three: The whole skin of the person becomes red, dry and scaly, the lymph nodes remain the same as in stage two.
Stage 4: Complete skin involvement plus one of the following:
Presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes
Malignant spread to the spleen or liver or lungs
And in the relapse stage or stage five, despite treatment, the lesions reappear on the skin.
When should we see a doctor?
Therefore, if you see any rash or skin lesions that are spreading and resistant to treatment, as well as the general dryness of the skin of the body that is accompanied by dark spots and lumps, and the presence of any unexplained bruising on the skin surface, see your doctor for further examination.
Of course, do not worry, these symptoms are not always supposed to indicate the presence of blood cancers!