Causes and Risk Factors of Castleman’s Disease

We’re learning more and more about Castleman’s Disease

Nobody knows for sure what causes Castleman’s Disease, but many in the medical community believe it is related to problems in the immune system. Some cases of Castleman’s Disease have been linked to the body having too much of a protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6). IL-6 helps our bodies regulate our immune system. But when we produce too much of it, it causes lymphocytes, which are the main cells of the immune system, to grow and divide too quickly.

In some people, Castleman’s Disease has been linked to a virus called human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8).

Castleman’s Disease has only one known risk factor

A risk factor is something that increases a person’s chances of getting a disease. The only clear-cut risk factor for Multicentric Castleman’s Disease that has been identified is being infected with HIV or having AIDS; however, not all people who have Multicentric Castleman’s Disease are HIV-positive or have AIDS.

Castleman’s Disease can affect men or women, adults or children. Although patients can be affected at any age, those diagnosed with Multicentric Castleman’s Disease typically range between 50 and 60 years old. The majority of patients diagnosed with Unicentric Castleman’s Disease are typically between 30 and 40 years old.

Hear from Carl about the path to his diagnosis of Multicentric Castleman’s Disease.

Recognizing Symptoms and Receiving the Diagnosis