Skin lymphoma is a rare type of cancer that originates in white blood cells in the skin.
Lymphoma, in general, describes a type of cancer that develops in white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are an integral part of the body’s immune system. They are found in lymph nodes, which are small clusters of immune tissue located at various locations throughout the body, as well as in other areas of the body, such as the bone marrow, spleen, and other organs, including the skin. There are two general types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
While lymphoma cancer may develop anywhere lymphocytes can be found in the body, skin lymphoma, also called cutaneous lymphoma, refers to cancer that develops in the lymphocytes of the skin.
Since cancers are categorized by the cells in which the cancer originates, cancers that start in lymph nodes that are not located in the skin, and then spread to the skin, are not considered skin lymphomas.