Cystic Fibrosis | Treatments

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How is cystic fibrosis treated?

At the present time, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis (CF), but with medical and psychosocial support, many children and adolescents with CF can cope well and lead a productive life. The goals of treatment are to ease severity of a child's symptoms and slow the progress of the disease.

A child's treatment is likely to include:

  • chest physical therapy to help loosen and clear lung secretions
  • exercise to loosen mucus, stimulate coughing and improve overall physical condition
  • medications to reduce mucus and help breathing, such as bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory medications
  • antibiotics to treat infections
  • management of digestive problems, which may involve appropriate diet, pancreatic enzymes to aid digestion, vitamin supplements, treatments for intestinal obstructions and dietary supplements  
  • psychosocial support to help deal with issues relating to independence, sterility, sexuality, financial issues and relationships

Lung transplant for CF

A lung transplantation — usually a double-lung transplant — may be an option if your child has end-stage lung disease. A lung transplant replaces the diseased lungs with a healthy pair of lungs. But this won't “cure” CF because the CF gene is in all of the cells in your child's body and not just in the lungs.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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