Cushing’s Awareness Day is on April 8: Spreading Rare Disease Awareness

April 8, 2023 will be recognized as Cushing’s Awareness Day, a time to help spread awareness among the general public and the medical community about Cushing’s syndrome and Cushing’s disease, two under-recognized conditions that are related to one another. The date of April 8 was chosen because this was the birthday of Dr. Harvey Cushing, a neurosurgeon who was born on April 8, 1869, and first described Cushing’s syndrome in 1912.

About Cushing’s Syndrome and Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s syndrome is a condition that is the result of prolonged exposure to cortisol, a steroid hormone. Cushing’s syndrome is most commonly caused by the use of medications such as corticosteroids, but it can also be caused by abnormalities that cause the body to release more cortisol than usual, such as a tumor affecting the pituitary or adrenal glands. When the condition is caused by a pituitary adenoma, a form of tumor that appears in the pituitary glands, it is known as Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s syndrome is also associated with diabetes, which is a common comorbidity. The syndrome can cause a variety of symptoms that can become more serious over time including cerebral atrophy, hypercholesterolemia, rapid weight gain, baldness, mood instability, depression, hirsutism, sexual dysfunction, muscle and bone weakness, menstrual abnormalities, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, sleep problems, immune system suppression, and memory problems. Treatment may include the cessation of drug use when they are the cause, surgery to remove tumors or affected glands, or certain drugs that inhibit cortisol synthesis. To learn more about Cushing’s syndrome, click here.

Getting Involved in Spreading Awareness

The Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation has put together three ways that you can help then spread awareness as part of their 2023 Awareness Campaign:

  1. Submit a written piece (5oo words or less) using this prompt:

“I am rare and…”

“I am rare but…”

Check out some examples here.

2. Create a photo collage of your journey with Cushing’s, including photos in active Cushing’s compared with photos before and/or after. 

3. Create a Facebook fundraiser for CSRF

Learn more about how to get involved here.

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