The official blog of the Lung Institute.
It’s time to answer the question on everyone’s minds. Why is there no COPD cure?
Today, it is estimated that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects more than 600 million people worldwide. Further, COPD is set to become the third leading cause of death by 2020. In this sense, COPD is a global problem for all, and one that affects many of us and those we know. Although alternative forms of treatment are available, with the high prevalence of COPD around the world, the first question for those who suffer from COPD is typically, “is there a cure?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. So, the question becomes “why?”
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give a clear and simple answer to the question: Why Is There No COPD Cure? Breaking Down the Science.
What is a Cure?
Let’s start with the concept of a cure. What is a cure? A cure is typically defined as a substance or procedure that ends a medical condition such as a medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle, or even a philosophical mindset. The key in this definition is the cure’s ability to end a medical condition. For example, a notable cure could be antibiotics used to treat a bacterial infection. However, in the case of COPD where lung tissues begin to break down within the lungs (emphysema), a method to stop this continuous degeneration and restore the damage has yet to be found.
What is COPD?
As we’ve mentioned before, COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and affects millions of Americans today. Classified as an obstructive lung disease, in which air is limited coming in as well as breathing out, the pathophysiology of the disease is fundamentally tissue degeneration. As emphysema (the process in which lung tissue breaks down) begins to deteriorate the small airways of the lungs, it can lead to the formation of large air pockets which replace lung tissue.
Although the development of COPD isn’t always a result of smoking, it is largely caused by the inhalation of cigarette smoke or other irritants. The response and subsequent development of COPD is largely based on the body’s inflammatory response to these inhaled irritants. As the body’s immune system goes to work (causing inflammation), this leads to the destruction of the connective tissue of the lungs (emphysema), which obstructs airflow and causes poor absorption and release of respiratory gasses. As the airways of the lungs continue to be inflamed, they begin to narrow and exhibit scarring from within. This condition leads to the inability to breathe out fully.
It’s important to know the road ahead in the treatment of COPD. Although COPD can seem insurmountable, the first step to living a longer life is finding a treatment that addresses the disease head-on. Changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. However, if you’re looking to address COPD progression directly, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy directly affects disease progression and can improve quality of life and pulmonary function. For people with lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like ILD, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.
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