Sarcoidosis is an immune system disorder characterized by non-caseating granulomas (small inflammatory nodules). It most commonly arises in young adults. The cause of the disease is still unknown.
Sarcoidosis can occur in almost any part of your body, although it usually affects some organs more than others. It usually starts in one of two places: Lungs and Lymph nodes, especially the lymph nodes in your chest cavity. Sarcoidosis also often affects your: Skin, Eyes and Liver. Sarcoidosis almost always occurs in more than one organ at a time. It can be found anywhere in the body although, the above are the most common.
Sarcoidosis is not a form of cancer and there is no known way to prevent sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis is currently thought to be associated with an abnormal immune response. It is not known whether the trigger that initiates the immune disturbance is a foreign substance, chemical, drug, virus, or some other substance.
A story from the New York Post dated 04/22/07 indicated that several firefighters and police officers were diagnosed with sarcoidosis after being involved with rescue efforts on 9/11 in New York City. The full story can be found here http://www.nypost.com/seven/04222007/news/regionalnews/9_11_firefighter_lung_ailments_on_the_rise_regionalnews_susan_edelman.htm.
These stories make you wonder if sarcoidosis is related to toxic exposures found in building materials.
You can find information on new research at the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research here http://www.stopsarcoidosis.org/.
For more information on treatments, please visit the Mayo Clinic website found here. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sarcoidosis/DS00251
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