It is not a death sentence | All what we know about the SC genotype

In our Biology classes back in our high school days, literally every one of us must have come across the term “genotype.” But how much do we know about our genotype?

The common genotypes most of us are familiar with are the AA, AS and SS. But, are we aware that there is a category of genotype known as the SC? Surprised? Or maybe not.

The SC genotype does exist and is the subject of a social media discussion that revolves around the Big Brother Naija Season 5 housemate, Olamilekan Agbeleshe popularly known as Laycon.

During a conversation with fellow housemates, Laycon had revealed that his genotype is SC which triggered the now gone viral discussion on genotype.

How Nigerians are reacting:

What you should know about the SC genotype

According to one study, “the haemoglobin (Hb) SC genotype is seen in persons who have inherited the gene for haemoglobin S from one parent and the gene for haemoglobin C from the other. Some people with this genotype develop Hb SC disease, a variant of sickle cell disease.” The Hb SC disease usually results in a milder form of SCD, but it can be severe in some cases.

Other names for the HB (SC) disease are Sickle cell – haemoglobin C disease; HbSC disease; and Sickle cell-hemoglobin C disease syndrome.

Haemoglobin SC disease is a type of sickle cell disease that affects the shape of the red blood cells just like it occurs in other variants of the sickle cell diseases.

Red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying blood throughout the body.”

The red blood cells of people with haemoglobin SC disease are shaped differently and do not circulate oxygen in the body effectively. Symptoms of haemoglobin SC disease include anaemia, fatigue and extreme pain known as vaso-occlusive crisis or sickle cell crisis.

During a severe crisis, affected persons may require blood transfusion or stem cell transplant also known as bone marrow transplant.

The severity of the symptoms, however, varies from person to person. While some people are mildly affected others may experience more serious complications during a crisis.

Nonetheless, the HB SC disease is not a death sentence, just like the other variants of the sickle cell disease; it can be managed with proper care.

Management of sickle cell anaemia is usually aimed at avoiding pain episodes, relieving symptoms and preventing complications. Treatments might include medications and blood transfusions. For some children and teenagers, a stem cell transplant might cure the disease.” – Mayo Clinic.

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