How is Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome treated?
Birt-Hogg-Dubé treatment differs depending on what symptoms your child is experiencing. For fibrofolliculomas, we can remove the tumors using surgery, excision, skin resurfacing or laser removal. However, this is not always a permanent solution because the tumors often grow back.
To address the renal tumors and lung cysts, we use imaging devices such as computed tomography (CT) scans, ultrasounds or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to regularly check for growths. All three tests produce internal images of the body so we can see if your child has tumors or cysts, the number of tumors or cysts, their location and their size.
By regularly monitoring any growths in the lungs or on the kidney, your child's doctor will be able to tell when the growth will need to be removed before it causes serious complications. Sometimes they recommend removing a lung or kidney if the growths on either organ pose a serious problem, or they may recommend partially removing an organ. The removal of a lung is called a pneumonectomy and the removal of a kidney is called a nephrectomy.
Why choose us for treatment of Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome?
Children's Hospital Colorado is part of the University of Colorado Cancer Center's VHL Family Alliance Clinical Care Center. Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) is a multi-systemic genetic disorder very similar to BHD that can also cause kidney cancer and The VHL Alliance (VHLA) is an organization dedicated to helping individuals with VHL and BHD. As part of this program, we focus on providing advocacy and support for those in the Birt-Hogg-Dubé community.
Children's Colorado provides one of the few programs in the nation to be recognized by the VHL Family Alliance and the only one in the Rocky Mountain region. This partnership gives us access to the most recent research and treatment methods for BHD, so we can provide high quality, comprehensive care for patients and their families.