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Currently, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis and prevention is not possible at the present time. If a couple is known to be at high risk of having a child with CF, early detection can be accomplished with prenatal CF gene mutation testing, using amniocentesis or chorionic villi collection.
Newborn screening programs based on IRT testing and CF gene mutation testing are widely availble in Australia. Early identification of a baby with CF enables parents to seek information, be referred to a specialist CF centre for expert help and to start early treatments of their infants to prevent or minimize lung damage and nutritional problems.
Treatments are tailored for the individual and goals usually involve activities to loosen and remove excess mucus from the lungs, prevent lung infections and blockages in the digestive tract and to provide adequate nutrition with specialised diets.
Some therapies may include exercise regimens and physical therapy as well as drugs such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and broncodilators in addition to oral pancreatic enzymes and vitamin supplements.
Newer therapies called CTFR modulators have been developed. They may be used to correct the function of defective CTFR proteins. These modulators are effective only for CF patients with specific CF gene mutations.
Some people with CF may undergo a lung transplant, which can allow them to live longer and improves their quality of life. Research is being conducted to develop a cure and to enhance treatments. Great strides have been made over the past ten years, which are allowing many people with CF to live longer with improvement in quality of life.
For more information on treatments visit the Cystic Fibrosis Federation Australia website and other sites under Related Pages
Last Review Date: March 27, 2019