Dr Bernice Kwong Explains Dermatological Considerations for Patients With L&L

Bernice Kwong, MD, clinical professor of dermatology, Stanford University, explains what dermatological considerations should be made for patients with leukemia and lymphoma.

Because patients with leukemia and lymphoma are immunocompromised, dermatologists need to look out for more infections and easily compromised skin integrity, explained Bernice Kwong, MD, clinical professor of dermatology, Stanford University.


What dermatological considerations should be made regarding the management of patients with leukemia and lymphoma?

For leukemia and lymphoma, the patients are so immunocompromised from their disease already, it's a whole different flavor than our solid organ cancer patients who also have a lot of health issues of the same type. A patient with leukemia and lymphoma, by virtue of their disease, is probably immunocompromised already. When we add treatments onto that, we're going to be looking out for more infections. More infections are going to happen and their skin integrity is probably going to be more easily compromised.

Trying to acknowledge and balance all those things that can be contributing to poor skin healing or toxicity in the skin is really important just to know that their disease itself will manifest in a way that could cause skin problems already. Then, to compound treatments on top of that, we just have to be on a lookout for how even the toxicities from chemotherapies or anticancer agents that we have understood well in solid tumor patients are going to cause skin toxicity and a different flavor for our leukemia and lymphoma patients. Looking at the hosts and acknowledging that they are unique and different too, so that we can look at their skin from that lens, is important.

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