Symptoms of acromegaly can be due to local effects of the tumor or as a result of high circulating levels of growth hormone (see Table 1).
Local effects of tumor
- Change in vision
- Decreased secretion of other pituitary hormones
- Increased thickness of soft tissue of hands/feet
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Enlargement of frontal bones of skull
- Colon polyps
- Congestive heart failure
- Sleep apnea
- Enlarged internal organs (liver, spleen, thyroid gland)
Acromegaly is associated with colon and other gastrointestinal cancers. (3) Individuals are also at an increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. Treatment with resultant cure can reduce the risk of early mortality. (1) The primary treatment is surgery to remove the tumor. For individuals who are not candidates for surgery, treatment options may include medical therapy and radiation.
|The French Angel|
|The Swedish Angel|
Tillet wasn't the only angel with acromegaly. Phil Olafsson was known as the Swedish Angel and also wrestled in the 1940's.
Of course, the most popular wrestler with acromegaly was Andre Roussimoff known worldwide as Andre the Giant. Andre displayed symptoms of the disease at a young age, reaching a height of 6'3" and weight of 240 lbs before becoming a teenager. He died at the age of 46 from congestive heart failure.
|Andre the Giant|
Other professional wrestlers reported to have acromegaly include Max Palmer (Paul Bunyon), Shohei Baba (Giant Baba), Jorge Gonzalez (El Gigante), Dalip Singh Rana (The Great Khali), and Paul Wight (The Big Show).
- NEJM 2006; 355(24): 2558.
- Acta Med Scand 1988; 223(4): 327.
- Cancer 1991; 38(8): 1673.
The medical reference www.uptodate.com was used in the preparation of this blog.
Photographs are for illustrative purposes only. Wrestling with Death does not claim ownership.