Because LAM affects almost exclusively women of child?bearing age, physicians have thought that the hormone estrogen might be involved in the abnormal muscle cell growth that characterizes the disease, just as it is in the growth of smooth muscle in the uterus in a woman's child?bearing years.
Although there is no evidence that there is a relationship between estrogen and LAM, the treatment of LAM has focused on reducing the production or effects of estrogen. The response to treatment has been highly individual, and no therapy has been found to be effective for all LAM patients.
Oxygen therapy may be necessary if the disease continues to worsen and lung function is impaired.
For LAM patients with severe disease, lung transplantation is an established therapy. One year survival following transplant is approximately 70 percent, and 3-year survival is approximately 50 percent.
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