he tumor that causes acromegaly is not only rare, but also very slow-growing, so physical changes occur over a period of several months, or even years. As a result, it can take a good while before patients notice anything is amiss, if they do at all. A common sign of acromegaly is enlarged hands and feet. Shoes that don’t fit anymore, tightening rings, or even more general symptoms like frequent headaches are chalked up to overwork, stress, or simply getting older. This puts the average time between the appearance of symptoms and diagnosis at 4.5 to 5 years. Other factors affecting proper, timely diagnosis include the patient’s geographical location and what type of healthcare practitioner he or she is seeing at the time.