Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common, fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians. Cystic fibrosis mainly affects people's lungs and digestion.
People with cystic fibrosis have an unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs their lungs, makes it hard to breathe, and can lead to life-threatening lung infections. CF also affects the pancreas: thick secretions there stop the release of the digestive enzymes that normally help break down food, making it hard for people to digest and absorb nutrients. The mucus can also block the bile duct in the liver, which eventually causes permanent liver damage in some people with CF.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada offers information and support on cystic fibrosis.