Sarcoidosis Awareness Month is observed in April every year. It was initiated to bring awareness to the rare sarcoidosis disease that medical practitioners consider as “all too often misdiagnosed and misunderstood.” The holiday is meant to serve as a springboard for educational events that create a better understanding of the impact of sarcoidosis diagnosis and also push Sarcoidosis to the consciousness of more people. Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that can affect any organ and often shows the typical fever-like symptom of heavy cough and shortness of breath. One other purpose of the day is to help people with the disease find a community of supporters and cheerers.
History of Sarcoidosis Awareness Month
Sarcoidosis first became known when it was described as a condition causing red, raised rashes on the face, arms, and hands by English dermatologist Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson. According to medical researchers, the disease involves abnormal collections of inflammatory cells that form lumps known as granulomata that usually begins in the lungs, skin, or lymph nodes and can affect any body organ. It has no known cure or cause. Also its symptoms have been reported to vary depending on which body organ is affected.
Due to its rarity — since it only affects about two million people worldwide and less than 250,000 in the U.S., the disease is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, which is the reason for the initiation of Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. The foundation for Sarcoidosis Research — the leading U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for the disease and to improving care for sarcoidosis patients established in 2000, initiated the holiday to serve as a way to bring more light to the effect of sarcoidosis diagnosis, bring sarcoidosis patients up to speed with research around the disease and help them find a community of patient who understands what they go through.
One thing to note about sarcoidosis is that it can cause serious health problems even though most cases of sarcoidosis are not severe and do not cause lasting damage to the body. According to medical professionals, the risk of death from sarcoidosis is 1–7%, with the chances of the disease returning in someone who has had it previously being less than 5%.
Sarcoidosis Awareness Month timeline
Sarcoidosis is first discovered as a non-painful skin disease by an English doctor named Jonathan Hutchinson.
The first international conference on sarcoidosis is held in London.
The first U.S. sarcoidosis conference takes place in Washington, D.C.
Pulmonary sarcoidosis affects up to 1.9 million people globally, resulting in 122,000 deaths.
Sarcoidosis Awareness Month FAQs
When is National Sarcoidosis Day?
National Sarcoidosis Day is on April 30. The day is part of several others, including the World Sarcoidosis Day celebration, making April Sarcoidosis Awareness Month.
Is sarcoidosis a lung disease?
Sarcoidosis mostly affects the lung but can affect every other organ of the body as well. Sarcoidosis of the lungs is called pulmonary sarcoidosis.
Does sarcoidosis go away?
In some cases, sarcoidosis may disappear after a few years on its own without any treatment.
How to Observe Sarcoidosis Awareness Month
Getting diagnosed is arguably the best way to join in on the observance of Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. For most of the known cases of sarcoidosis, the disease was discovered due to an examination done for an entirely different illness. Getting explicitly tested for the disease makes certain its existence doesn't come as a shock and that we can keep track of treatment progress and find a community of supporters soon.
Join a sarcoidosis community
If you have been diagnosed, join a sarcoidosis community as a way to observe sarcoidosis Awareness Month and keep up to date with research and treatment progress and event announcements. You may also participate in educational, wellness, and social initiatives that seek to shine a light on the disease.
Share your story on social media
There is no better way for people to learn about sarcoidosis than from the experiences of someone they know, so share your story online to help demystify the disease. Guide people on how to use the resources on the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research website. And encourage them to support and champion the organization’s cause.
5 Important Facts About Sarcoidosis
Thousands of people live with it
An estimate of more than 200,000 people in the U.S. live with sarcoidosis
It is a sneaky disease
Most people with sarcoidosis have no signs or symptoms of the disease and only discover the diseases while getting tested for another reason.
Shortness of breath and a chronic cough
Sarcoidosis often affects the lungs, causing shortness of breath and a chronic cough.
African-Americans, women, and sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is disproportionately common among women between the ages of 20 and 30 of African-American or Scandinavian descent.
Its cause is still unknown
Researchers are yet to uncover the cause of the diseases, although they believe it may be hereditary.
Why Sarcoidosis Awareness Month is Important
It’s mostly undiagnosed
For a disease that not much is known about, too many cases of sarcoidosis that could provide insight into treatment and understanding of whether early detection helps, goes undiagnosed. It makes the initiation of Sarcoidosis Awareness Month even more important to encourage people to get tested for the disease.
It helps to stay connected to progress
Sarcoidosis Awareness Month is important to keep people connected to the latest development around treatment for the disease. The month seeks to spread enough words around to get people to learn about sarcoidosis, get diagnosed, and stay up to date with the numerous researches for a cure.
To find a community of supporters
Like any other illness, Sarcoidosis Awareness Month is important to find a sense of belonging among a group of people who understand the disease. The aim is to help every sarcoidosis patient feel relief with a community of supporters they can turn to.
Sarcoidosis Awareness Month dates