Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Larenz Tate on Sickle Cell Disease

The actor wants people to know how serious the disease is and why it's important to get screened.
By
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

September is Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month, and for actor Larenz Tate, that means spreading the word about a chronic disease that disproportionately affects the African-American community.

"It's really important to know if you carry the disease," says Tate, 36, who recently costarred on FX's Rescue Me and in BET's made-for-TV movie Gun Hill, which premieres this fall.

Recommended Related to

Thrombocytopenia

If you have thrombocytopenia, you don’t have enough platelets in your blood. Platelets help your blood clot, which stops bleeding. For most people, it's not a big problem. But if you have a severe form, you can bleed too much when you’re injured. A healthy person usually has a platelet count of 150,000 to 400,000. You have thrombocytopenia if your number falls under 150,000. If you're wondering what the long name means, here's how it breaks down: "thrombocytes" are your platelets and "penia" means...

Read the Thrombocytopenia article > >

As many as 100,000 people in the United States have the disease, which causes red blood cells to resemble sickles or crescents. The misshapen cells can reduce blood flow, which starves vital organs of oxygen and can lead to chronic fatigue and intense pain.

Many people who don't have the disease carry a gene for it. Screening is essential, a message Tate will spread this month via Facebook and Twitter (@LarenzTate). "If you can prevent the disease, you can really make a difference in someone's life," says Tate.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD the Magazine." 

Reviewed on July 15, 2012

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
highlighted areas of the brain
How well do you know yours?
oatmeal and eggs
The best and worst for you.
dog begging at table
Foods your dog should never eat.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
mature woman with serious expression
What do you know?
chlamydia
Pictures and facts.
Healthy Snack
13 delicious options.
Take your medication
Separate fact from fiction.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
woman clutching at stomach
Do you know what's causing yours?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.