PFF, Other Patient Groups, to Partner on 2nd ILD Day, Sept. 14

The event is scheduled to occur as part of Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month

Teresa Carvalho, MS avatar

by Teresa Carvalho, MS |

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Focusing on raising awareness of interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), nine organizations, including the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), are working together to present the second annual ILD Day, taking place Sept. 14.

More than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with ILD, a group of lung diseases marked by inflammation and scarring in the lungs, which often leads to pulmonary fibrosis (PF). It’s estimated that more than 250,000 people in the U.S. are currently living with PF and ILD.

The most common ILD symptoms include difficulty breathing, dry cough, and fatigue. The condition can be triggered by the use of certain treatments, chest radiation, and by being exposed to environmental and occupational agents, such as cigarette smoke, wood dust, and sand.

“Awareness of ILD remains extremely low, and its symptoms are similar to other common illnesses, which makes it difficult to diagnose,” William T. Schmidt, PFF’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

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People with certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, myositis, sarcoidosis, and Sjögren’s syndrome, are at an increased risk of having ILD.

However, there is a lack of information on ILDs, even among patients. As such, ILD Day was created to help find people at risk of developing lung disorders, so they could be more diagnosed and treated promptly.

“The goal of ILD Day is to expand the understanding of ILD among patients and healthcare providers, and to share resources and support for those who are living with the disease,” Schmidt said.

The event, which happens each year on the second Wednesday in September, will take place during PF Awareness Month, which is observed yearly to bring global attention to the rare condition. This year’s theme is “Here for Each Other.”

To help patients better understand ILD and its progression, symptoms, and treatments, they can register for an educational webinar called “Progressive Pulmonary Fibrosis: What Patients Need to Know” that will be held Sept. 14. The webinar will be presented by Anna Podolanczuk, MD, an ILD specialist.

Other organizations joining PFF to present the event include the Scleroderma Research Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, the PF Warriors, the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, the Myositis Association, the Sjögren’s Foundation, the Scleroderma Foundation, and the Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

“We are proud to collaborate with eight healthcare organizations to educate at-risk patients about interstitial lung disease so those who experience symptoms can be diagnosed more quickly to receive proper care and treatment to manage their condition,” Schmidt said.

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