Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Mycosis Fungoides Anatomy

To better understand cutaneous T cell lymphoma, it helps to understand the anatomy of the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system consists of a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes throughout the body. The system transports a type of white blood cell, called lymphocytes. These cells play a role in fighting infection.

There are two main types of lymphocytes:

  • B lymphocytes
  • T lymphocytes

The lymphatic system performs two major functions:
  • Stores and transports cells that fight infection
  • Removes excess fluid from body tissues

The lymphatic system consists of:
  • Lymph vessels:
    • A network of vessels throughout the body that transport white blood cells called lymphocytes.
    • There are two main types of lymphocytes: B-cells and T-cells.
  • Lymph glands:
    • The lymph vessels connect in many areas known as lymph nodes.
    • The nodes act as filters to fight infection in the body.
    • Lymph nodes can enlarge in response to inflammation.
    • This can occur due to cancer or an infection nearby the lymph vessels.

Anatomy examples:
  • Areas of lymph nodes in the body
  • Areas in the body where lymph nodes can be felt
  • Abnormal lymph node cells due to Hodgkin's disease
  • Lymphatic system around the armpit and breast
  • Lymphatic system in the abdomen

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Mycosis Fungoides References
  1. McFarlane V, Friedmann PS, Illidge TM. What's new in the management of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma? Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2005 May;17(3):174-84. [15901002]
  2. Siegel RS, Kuzel TM. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma/leukemia. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2000 Apr;1(1):43-50. [12057060]
  3. Vonderheid EC. Treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma: 2001. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2002;160:309-20. [12079229]
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