Family and Friends

Having a loved one receive a LAM diagnosis can be scary. You can help your loved one, and yourself, deal with the disease by learning all you can about LAM and how it may affect them. Many people have found that educating themselves about LAM and learning what they can do to support their loved one has brought them a sense of empowerment and even hope.

What You Need to Know About LAM

  • Symptoms may include shortness of breath, collapsed lung, chest pain, cough, and/or fatigue.
  • LAM occurs almost exclusively in women so the disease is thought to be hormone-related.
  • There are 2 types of LAM; TS-LAM is when a woman has both tuberous sclerosis (TS) and LAM and Sporadic LAM is when a woman has LAM only.
  • The formation of cysts and an abnormal growth of smooth muscle cells not usually found in the lungs causes progressive damage to healthy lung tissue.
  • As many as 30% of women with LAM have a benign kidney tumor called an angiomyolipoma (or AML).
  • In moderate to severe cases, lung capacity progressively declines to the point where supplemental oxygen is needed.
  • Doctors believe pregnancy may accelerate the progression of LAM.  Women with LAM are urged to speak with their doctor before getting pregnant.