Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH)
LCH is an unusual condition. It has some characteristics of cancer but, unlike almost every other cancer, it may spontaneously resolve in some patients while being life-threatening in others. LCH is classified as a cancer and sometimes requires treatment with chemotherapy. LCH patients are therefore usually treated by children’s cancer specialists (paediatric oncologists/ haematologists).
Langerhans refers to Dr Paul Langerhans, who first described the cells in the skin which are similar to the cells found in LCH lesions.
The symptoms of LCH will depend on which part of the body is affected and whether the disease is affecting more than one part of the body. The lymph glands may be enlarged, and the child may be irritable and have a poor appetite.
Pain in the bone and/or swelling and lumps on the skull can occur if LCH is affecting the bone. A skin rash such as cradle cap or nappy rash may occur if the skin is affected. A discharge from the ear or hearing problems can occur if the ear is affected. The child may have breathing difficulties if LCH affects the lungs or chest. Tummy problems such as diarrhoea and liver problems including jaundice can occur if LCH is within the abdomen.
In 10–20% of patients with multisystem disease, the pituitary gland at the base of the brain is affected, causing hormonal problems. This can lead to the child passing larger amounts of urine and being very thirsty. This is called diabetes insipidus, which is different from sugar diabetes and can be well-controlled with specific medicines. Occasionally, other pituitary hormones may be affected, causing poor growth or delayed puberty, which can also be treated.
Histiocytosis refers to histiocytes which are cells that are part of the immune system, and are found in many parts of the body. There are two types of histiocytes:
-macrophage/monocyte cells – these destroy harmful proteins, viruses and bacteria in the body
-dendritic cells – these stimulate the immune system
Langerhans cells are dendritic cells and are normally only found in the skin and major airways. In LCH, the abnormal dendritic cells that look similar to Langerhans cells may be found in different parts of the body, including the bone marrow, skin, lungs, liver, lymph glands, spleen and pituitary gland. When these abnormal dendritic cells accumulate in these tissues, they may cause damage.
LCH is divided into two groups:
-single-system LCH – when the disease affects only one part of the body, for example the skin or the bone
-multi-system LCH – when it affects more than one part of the body
Topically apply the following :
Spinal Therapy, over the spine, 15-20 drops, at night, before bed
Pain Blend 100ml for pain management, as needed