NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma, Version 1.2016
Peripheral T-cell lymphomas and other T-cell
lymphomas may involve the skin. Based on your
skin exam, your doctor may want you to have a skin
biopsy. There are multiple types of skin biopsies.
Which one you will have depends on how large
and where the abnormal skin is. Skin samples may
be removed by excisional, incisional, punch, or
shave biopsies. A punch biopsy uses a sharp hollow
device—like a cookie cutter—to remove a small but
deep sample of both skin layers. A shave biopsy
removes the first layer of skin and part of the second
Before the skin biopsy, your skin will be numbed with
local anesthesia. You may feel pressure during the
biopsy, but no pain. Afterward, you doctor may close
the wound and apply a bandage. Often, there are no
side effects, but some people do get scars.
A prognosis is a prediction of the pattern and outcome
of a disease. As part of treatment planning, your
doctors will assess the prognosis of the cancer.
There are two methods for predicting the prognosis of
peripheral T-cell lymphoma, which are described next.
A cancer stage is a rating by your doctors of how
far the cancer has grown and spread. It is used for
prognosis, treatment planning, and to check treatment
results. The Ann Arbor staging system is used to
stage peripheral T-cell lymphoma. In this system,
there are four cancer stages.
is cancer that is in only one cluster of
is cancer that is in 2 or more clusters
either above or below your diaphragm.
is cancer that is in lymph tissue on
both sides of your diaphragm.
is cancer that has widely spread
outside the lymphatic system.
When the cancer is staged, other letters are also
assigned. The letters “A” and “B” indicate whether B
symptoms have been present in the past 6 months.
No symptoms is rated A, and if symptoms are present,
B. The letter “E” stands for extranodal disease, which
is cancer in sites other than the lymph nodes. The
letter “X” means the cancer is large (>10 cm).
In general, earlier cancer stages have better
outcomes. However, some people with early-stage
cancer have poor outcomes. Prognosis depends
not just on the cancer stage but other factors. Thus,
doctors have created better methods to predict