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Black Women Face Higher Risk of Early Mycosis Fungoides

Blacks, Hispanics more likely to present with disease before age of 40

MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women are more likely than men to present with mycosis fungoides -- the most common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma -- before the age of 40, as are black and Hispanic patients, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Grace Sun, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues reviewed data from 1,074 patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma evaluated at the center between 1989 and 2007.

Early-onset mycosis fungoides (before the age of 40) was seen more frequently in blacks (32.6 percent) and Hispanics (35.6 percent) compared to whites (12.7 percent), the researchers report. Early-onset mycosis fungoides was also more common among women, again, particularly black and Hispanic women (35 and 47.5 percent, respectively, versus 14.5 percent of white women), the investigators found. Progression of disease was seen in 38 percent of black women with early-onset mycosis fungoides, compared to 10 percent and 5 percent of white and Hispanic women, respectively, the report indicates.

"The reason why young African American women may have more aggressive mycosis fungoides is unknown but is likely to be multifactorial. Our clinical experience suggests that young women with aggressive mycosis fungoides (large cell transformation or Sezary syndrome) should be considered for allogeneic transplantation, and that finding a match for African American patients may pose a significant challenge," the authors write. "In conclusion, generalizations regarding the incidence, prevalence and prognosis of mycosis fungoides may not apply equally across race, sex and age, and this information should be used for risk stratification and therapy choice."

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