Monday, September 15, 2014

More of us need to know about pulmonary fibrosis~ via; Letters to the Editor, AZ Central

September is Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month.
It seems every dread disease has a special month — and pulmonary fibrosis is no different. Some stats about this disease:
• This disease is 100 percent fatal.
• Each year, 40,000 will die from PF, about the same number of fatalities as from breast cancer.
• There is no known cause or treatment, and the disease is relentlessly progressive; average lifespan from time of diagnosis is two to five years.
• PF patients gradually lose the ability to process oxygen as their lungs fill with scar tissue and become stiff. Oxygen can't pass into the blood.
• Four times as many people have PF as ALS or cystic fibrosis.
• Since 1999, the number of patients with PF increased by 156 percent, to more than 128,000, and more than 50 percent of the cases are misdiagnosed for a year or more.
• A lung transplant is the only option to extend life, but 50 percent of those on the list will die before receiving a transplant.
• There is only one PF support group in Phoenix and the surrounding area.
• St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is doing research on medications for PF.
My husband was recently diagnosed with PF.
More information is available at
— Madeline Wollmer,

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