Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that causes constant lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.
Mucus builds up in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. The thick mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria, which can lead to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually, respiratory failure.
This is a genetic disease. People with this disease have inherited two copies of the defective cystic fibrosis gene. Both parents must have at least one copy of this gene. This disease is a mutation, there are more than 1,700 known mutations.
More than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis in the US. Approximately 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. More than 75% of people are diagnosed by the age of 2. More than half of the visits fibrosis population are age 18 or older.
There has been an amazing breakthrough treatment that has added more years onto people's lives. Today the predicted survival age is close to 40. In the 1950s a child wouldn't live long enough to be able to go to elementary school.
A group of people created the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1955. In 1989 they discovered that there actually was a cystic fibrosis gene that caused the disease. They found this disease to be common in both males and females. In 2015 the FDA approved a drug called CFTR, which signals as a historic breakthrough in how cistic fibrosis is treated.