Pulmonary Fibrosis A Time for Awareness, Support and Community
(September 10, 2018)
September is Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month. Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease where there is scarring of the lung tissue, making it thick and stiff, making breathing difficult. When the cause of the scarring (fibrosis) is unknown, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF. While September is a month dedicated to raising awareness about pulmonary fibrosis, the American Lung Association is committed year-round to offering information, resources and support to communities to help improve the lives of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and their caregivers.
While considered a rare disease, approximately 140,000 Americans are living with IPF—with an estimated 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis—difficulty in breathing and a dry cough—are common to other lung diseases, making pulmonary fibrosis difficult to diagnose. The earlier pulmonary fibrosis is diagnosed, the better and, although there is no cure, there are medications and therapies that can delay the progression and help patients live a better quality of life. For some patients, a lung transplant is an option.
There is still much to be discovered about this serious lung disease, and the Lung Association is currently funding many research projects to help us learn more about this challenging and unpredictable disease.
If you or a loved one have pulmonary fibrosis, the Lung Association is here to help. Lung.org/pf is our new online resource where patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and advocates can learn more about pulmonary fibrosis, download resources and videos, learn about treatment information and join a local Better Breathers Club. Through tailored pathways, you can find the support and information you need no matter where you are on your path with pulmonary fibrosis.
One of the most important parts of living well with pulmonary fibrosis is accessing support. The American Lung Association offers a wide array of resources including online support communities where patients with pulmonary fibrosis and caregivers can connect with, share stories and get advice from people on the same challenging health path. Our online support communities include our "Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis" and "Caring for Pulmonary Fibrosis."
During September's Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, respiratory therapists from the American Lung Association's Lung HelpLine will answer questions from patients and caregivers about pulmonary fibrosis, including IPF:
- From September 10 – 14, join our "Ask the Expert" series on the "Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis" community.
- From September 17 – 21, the series moves to our "Caring for Pulmonary Fibrosis" online support community to answer specific questions for our caregivers.
There’s no better time than September's Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month to help raise awareness about pulmonary fibrosis, and no better time for patients and caregivers to take advantage of the resources and online support communities the Lung Association have to offer.