4 Common Misconceptions About Cystic Fibrosis
According to the New York Times, “good decisions start with accurate information.” Here are four of the most common misconceptions non-patients have about cystic fibrosis.
1. Cystic fibrosis can be contagious.
Some people are afraid they’ll catch cystic fibrosis if they are in contact with a patient, but it’s impossible. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that’s inherited from both parents. Cystic fibrosis patients cannot transmit the disease to others.
2. Patients with cystic fibrosis cannot live into adulthood.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the current average life expectancy for CF patients in the United States who live past childhood is about 37 years. But there are also exceptional cases, like the Boomer Esiason Foundation CF ambassador and CFer Jerry Cahill who just recently celebrated his 60th birthday.
3. People with cystic fibrosis should not worry about what they eat.
Due to the limitations CF brings to its patients, maintaining a healthy weight may be a difficult task, and even in the case of a normal weight, patients may not be getting the right nutrition. With children, it’s particularly problematic since the lack of proper nutrition may compromise normal growth and development.
4. The future is not bright for patients with cystic fibrosis and their families.
Children who are born today with CF have a completely different prognosis from those born more than 30 years ago.
According to the NIH, “in 1962, the predicted median survival for CF patients was about 10 years, with few surviving into their teenage years.”
And researchers are not giving up. For example, learn how Vertex Continues to Pursue Broad Range of Therapies for Cystic Fibrosis Patients
If we came this far in half a decade, imagine where we’ll be 50 years from now.
MORE: A Look Back at the Milestones in the Study of the Respiratory System
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