This edition: The Challenges of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
First aired: December 27, 2016.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, or IPF, is a disease that robs a person's ability to breathe normally. Idiopathic, means "unknown cause", and fibrosis is defined as scar tissue. So, IPF creates a scaring of the lungs, eventually causing an irreversible loss in the capacity to transport oxygen through the bloodstream to all parts of the body including vital organs. IPF affects about 128,000 people in the United States, and there are approximately 48,000 new cases diagnosed each year. And sadly, IPF accounts for about 40,000 deaths each year - a toll roughly equal to breast cancer. Most IPF patients are diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 70 and tend be male. Although there is no known cause, several risk factors for IPF have been identified which include smoking, exposure to certain types of dust and fumes, and genetics. In this program, we will hear from leading medical experts about the ongoing research into the treatment of this disease, and we will speak with IPF patients, about this often debilitating condition.