SOURCE: American College of Chest Physicians

April 04, 2017 09:46 ET

CHEST Foundation and Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research campaign aims to raise awareness of little-known condition, sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis campaign offers patients tools to proactively manage complex disease

GLENVIEW, IL--(Marketwired - April 04, 2017) - To coincide with National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month in April, the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians, and Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) launched its third annual Seek Answers. Inspire Results. campaign. The national awareness campaign encourages people living with sarcoidosis to take a proactive role in their treatment plan.

"Although sarcoidosis was identified more than 150 years ago, it is still considered an elusive and perplexing disease because it can present itself in different ways depending on the individual," said Doreen Addrizzo-Harris, MD, CHEST Foundation President-Designate & Trustee. "For many, the symptoms may be short-lived in some, but may cause life-threatening illness in others. Many patients need special personalized treatment to control symptoms. By generating an awareness campaign around sarcoidosis, we hope to provide patients with information and treatment options."

With good medical care, most cases of sarcoidosis are controlled and do not cause lasting damage to the body. However, it is important for people living with sarcoidosis to assess all of their options through an open dialogue with their physician.

To enable this discussion, Seek Answers. Inspire Results. offers people living with sarcoidosis and their caregivers a simple, usable toolkit (available at chestnet.org/sarcoid) to help them understand and manage their unique condition as well as resources to create awareness and spark conversations in the community. These tools include the "Sarcoid Five" -- a list of five questions designed to start patient-doctor conversations to help people living with sarcoidosis understand treatment options and create a personalized plan to control their individual condition. The campaign also encourages people to update their social media profile photo for the month of April with the Seek Answers. Inspire Results. awareness badge available for download and use on social media.

"We are proud to partner with the CHEST Foundation again this year as we aim to continue building awareness about this complex disease and provide key resources to the sarcoidosis community," said Ginger Spitzer, executive director of FSR. "Diagnosing sarcoidosis can be a long and frustrating process for patients and can also be quite difficult for people living with the disease. In fact, 25-30 percent of individuals have persistent, chronic symptoms requiring ongoing treatment. We want them to understand they are not alone as they navigate the condition with support and a tailored action plan."

About Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease wherein the immune system goes into overdrive, causing cells to group together into clumps called granulomas. When too many granulomas form on an organ, they may interfere with the organ's function. Sarcoidosis can affect any organ in the body; however, lungs and lymph nodes are involved in more than 90 percent of patients. Although anyone can develop sarcoidosis, it is most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40, and more severe and more likely to be chronic in African Americans.

About CHEST and the CHEST Foundation

CHEST is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. CHEST serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. For more information about CHEST, visit chestnet.org.

The CHEST Foundation supports patient and public education programs; grants, awards, and lectures for clinical research; community service and humanitarian programs. Since 1996, the foundation has provided more than $10 million for outstanding work in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. For more information about the CHEST Foundation, visit http://foundation.chestnet.org.

About the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research

The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for this disease and to improving care for sarcoidosis patients. Since its establishment in 2000, FSR has fostered over $3 million in sarcoidosis-specific research efforts and has worked diligently to provide resources to thousands. The Foundation connects and provides resources for over 30,000 sarcoidosis patients, and directly funds research initiatives critical to breakthroughs. For more information about FSR, to volunteer, or make a donation, visit: stopsarcoidosis.org.

Patient education resources for the Seek Answers. Inspire Results. campaign supported in part by a grant from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.