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September is a month I remember because it marks the last quarter of the year as I begin to head into the holidays and get ready for 2017 but also because it holds a more personal meaning for me & the family. In the health world like many of the other months there are a slew of health conditions that get a little attention by having its annual awareness. (list of health conditions) Today I want to spotlight one that hold some significance with me as I have been personally affected by it.

Facts

Histiocytosis is a general term that involves a group of disorders

      • Due to an overproduction of white blood cells that can lead to organ damage and tumor formation

 
Three major classes

      • Langerhans Cell (most common)
      • T-Cell Lymphoma
      • Hemophagocytic syndrome

 
Causes

      • Varying causes including
      • Automimmune
      • Genetic
      • Neoplastic (cancer- like)

 
Symptoms

        • Varies immensely depending on just where it affects you but usually systemic issues affecting
          • Skin
          • Bony defects/fractures
          • Lung Involvement

 
Treatment/Follow up

      • Based on presentation
        • Mild forms can be conservatively managed but the more systemic issues will require detailed workup and treatment

 
Understanding that this disease is a “rare” in the sense of those affected by it doesn’t make it less important. I think in the medical field because we put so much emphasis on the more “popular” diseases the growth for research becomes stunted. It’s the reason why the ALS Ice bucket challenge was such a big win for ALS research because when you have a disease that occurs (3.9 per 100,000) it doesn’t make the news, it doesn’t get to own a month like Breast Cancer(Susan G. Komen) does. In school one of the first things I learned about A.T. Still was that he trained his students not to look at a person as a disease but a normal person who happens to be afflicted by a disease. We have to remember that even though it maybe only 1 per 100,000 or 1 per 1,000,000 that the life of that one person will affect many.
 


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