Frequently Asked Questions

About Cystic Fibrosis

Q.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

A.

Cystic fibrosis is one of the UK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases. Cystic fibrosis is caused by a single faulty gene. As a result, the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, become clogged with thick sticky mucus resulting in chronic infections and inflammation in the lungs and difficulty digesting food.

Q.

How common is Cystic Fibrosis?

A.

Around 10,500 people in the UK have cystic fibrosis, that's 1 in every 2,500 babies born. Cystic fibrosis affects around 100,000 people around the world.

Q.

Can you catch Cystic Fibrosis?

A.

No, cystic fibrosis can't be caught; it can only be caused by inheriting two copies of the faulty gene. You could be a gene carrier without having cystic fibrosis.

Q.

What causes Cystic Fibrosis?

A.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition. One person in 25 carries the faulty cystic fibrosis gene usually without knowing, over two million people in the UK. If two carriers have a baby, the child has a one in four chance of having Cystic Fibrosis.

Q.

Is there a cure for cystic fibrosis?

A.

Sadly, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis. The aim of treatment is to ease symptoms and make the condition easier to live with. For some rare types of cystic fibrosis, such as the G551D mutation, there are treatments which aim to compensate for a faulty gene. Treatment can also prevent or reduce long-term damage caused by infections and other complications.

The Network

Q.

What is the network for CF?

A.

The West Midlands South & Central Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Network is a large specialist clinical network comprising approx 300 children and teenagers with cystic fibrosis. Of these patients, a number are cared for on a full-care basis by the Regional Centre (Birmingham Children’s Hospital – BCH), and the other two-thirds on a shared care basis with six network clinics. Service user feedback is generally excellent, particularly with regard to the dedicated, hard-working, experienced and caring staff across the entire network. Clinical outcomes, including UK CF Registry data, are generally excellent.

Advice, support and help

Q.

Are there different types of Cystic Fibrosis?

A.

There are over 1,500 identified mutations of the cystic fibrosis gene. Cystic fibrosis is a very complex condition that affects people in different ways. Some suffer more