Cystic fibrosis is known as an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body. Cystic fibrosis can affect the cells that can produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. These secreted fluids are normally thin and slippery. However, in people with cystic fibrosis, a defective gene can cause the secretions to become sticky and thick. Instead of acting as a lubricant, the secretions plug up tubes, ducts and passageways, especially in the lungs and pancreas.
Although cystic fibrosis requires daily care and attention, people with the condition are usually able to attend school and/or work, and sometimes have a better quality of life than people with cystic fibrosis had in previous generations. Improvements in screening and treatments mean people with cystic fibrosis now may live into their mid- to late 30s, on average, and some are living into their 40s and 50s.