What is sarcoidosis and histoplasmosis?

What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis, a disease characterized by noncancerous growths called granulomas, can be very difficult to diagnose, since it closely resembles some cancers or tuberculosis. It is not cancer. It most often affects the lungs but can also be found in the skin, liver, spleen, eyes, and bones. The course of the disease varies with the patient and the form of sarcoidosis. There are two forms of this disease. The acute type is characterized by an abrupt onset and sometimes sudden disappearance of symptoms. The chronic form has a slow, poorly defined beginning. Persons with relatively mild symptoms often do not need treatment. Drug treatment can relieve symptoms but will not prevent the granulomas from forming and appearing in other locations. Symptoms may include enlarged lymph nodes in the neck plus lung problems. Fever (especially a fever up to 101° daily), weight loss, and tiredness are also symptoms of sarcoidosis.

What is histoplasmosis? 

Histoplasmosis is a fungus infection most commonly found around the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri Valley areas. It is also found in the southeastern parts of the United States. Farmers and cave explorers are the most usual victims. Often, exposed persons will develop a lung spot with calcium which can be seen on the x-ray. If the disease spreads throughout the lung, hospitalization may be necessary and antibiotics are administered. Histoplasmosis is not a form of cancer.


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