Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of disability and death worldwide. It is caused by the destruction of lung tissue owing to several risk factors including smoking and genetics. The treatment of COPD improved over the past decades, and research into better options is underway. In this article, we will talk about how COPD is treated and side effects you may expect from it.
Is COPD curable?
First, you have to understand that COPD results from inflammation and destruction of the lung, along with inflammation of the airways, and that it is not possible to reverse such damage using medications. The only known curable option for COPD is lung transplantation. There is also a difference between cure and survival. Survival is measured by the number of people with a certain terminal disease living to a certain time. Therefore, when you read that the 5-year survival rate of a certain cancer is 10%, it means that 90% of all people who had that certain type of cancer died within 5 years of their diagnosis. In COPD, medications that increase the survival rate are considered as successful, and surgery is not always the best option if your doctor deems your condition to be risky for surgery at a certain stage or if you have another certain medical condition.