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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

From Medicineworld.org: copd

Asthma Hypertension Type2 diabetes  

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease in which the lung is damaged, making it hard to breathe. In COPD, the airways-the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs-are partly obstructed, making it difficult to get air in and out.

Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD. Most people with COPD are smokers or former smokers. Breathing in other kinds of lung irritants, like pollution, dust, or chemicals over a long period of time may also cause or contribute to COPD.

The airways branch out like an upside-down tree, and at the end of each branch are many small, balloon-like air sacs. In healthy people, each airway is clear and open, the air sacs are small and dainty, and both are elastic and springy. When you breathe in, each air sac fills up with air, like a small balloon, and when you breathe out, the balloon deflates and the air goes out. In COPD, the airways and air sacs lose their shape and become floppy. Less air gets in and less air goes out because:
  • The airways and air sacs lose their elasticity (like an old rubber band)
  • The walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed
  • The walls of the airways become thick and inflamed (swollen)
  • Cells in the airways make more mucus (sputum) than usual, which tends to clog the airways.
COPD develops slowly, and it may be many years before you notice symptoms like feeling short of breath. Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older people.

COPD is a major cause of death and illness throughout the world. It is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the world.

There is no cure for COPD. The damage to your airways and lungs cannot be reversed, but there are things you can do to feel better and slow the damage to your lungs.

COPD is not contagious-you cannot catch it from someone else.

Cancer terms:
Margin: This term refers to the edge of surgical specimen. When a tumor is surgically removed the cut edge is called margin. If the margin is involved with cancer, your surgeon may suggest repeat surgery to remove any possible remaining cancer, that may be present at the other cut edge of the surgically removed tissue. See cancer terms for more cancer related terms.

Medicineworld.org: copd

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