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Cystic fibrosis. Coloured frontal chest X-ray of the lungs of a person with cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is a hereditary disease affecting the lungs, sweat glands and digestive system. Both the lungs and pancreas produce abnormally thick mucus. The mucus in the lungs (light blue, centre left and right) can encourage bacterial growth, leading to severe respiratory infections. The mucus in the pancreas blocks the release of digestive enzymes, resulting in malabsorption. CF is diagnosed by excessive amounts of salt in a person's sweat or by genetic testing. Treatment involves daily chest physiotherapy to loosen the mucus and aerosolised medicines to soothe inflammation.
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