4 Common Misconceptions About Cystic Fibrosis

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by Wendy Henderson |

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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.

MORE: The danger of cross infections for those living with cystic fibrosis

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.

MORE: Seven foods for eating well with a chronic lung condition

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 more about how Vertex has continued to pursue a broad range of therapies for cystic fibrosis patients.

There are still a lot of organizations and people doing remarkable work either in research or alongside patients and their families which you can help directly or bring awareness to.

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

Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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