Acromegaly awareness

Tricia Bair, Writer

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November 1st was Acromegaly Awareness Day, acromegaly is a rare disease that is a growth hormone producing a tumor. It is usually caused by a pea sized non cancerous tumor that starts in the brain. The tumor triggers an overproduction of growth hormone which makes the growth plates in your body grow even when your body isn’t supposed to be growing. We all usually stop growing once we hit about 18 or 19 years old at the most. The our growth plates shut and we have reached our peak of growing. Most people never know they have the disease because it is such a slow process of symptoms to show and most of the time the symptoms get confused with other diseases. It takes a professional doctor to do a screening to find the disease which could be a while if you don’t know all the signs of it yourself. Some symptoms are hands or feet growing, lips swelling, fatigue, body aches, joint pain, sweating, and headaches.
Once you find out if you have the disease it’s time to start thinking about what kind of treatment is needed, and there is many different kinds so don’t think that you might limited to only one kind of treatment. The doctor might suggest removal of the tumor first since it is so small and that would eliminate a lot of the symptoms that are occurring. By doing this it would also decrease other complications related to the disease such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. They may also recommend radiation for the tumor to reduce the disease.
We take a whole month to recognize a well known cancer like breast cancer but let’s make everyone aware of a disease that affects thousands of people every day. The more people know about the disease the more help we could all give to them.

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Acromegaly awareness