The transplantation of stem cells in the body is a major treatment to cancer patients. Not all people know what this really means. If you are one of those men and women, this is the right page to read. Let the information below provide you some of your questions or concerns about stem cell transplant.
What is Stem Cell?
A stem cell refers to bone marrow and blood. This can also consider umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood. They are all vital tiny parts of the body that contribute to the different functions of human. In a more sensible explanation, they are life. Thus, the insufficiency of stem cells in the body can cause a person to suffer great pain, discomfort, or worse die.
What is Stem Cell Transplant?
Transplanting stem cells is basically injecting or infusing healthy and non-cancerous stem cells into the body of a patient. This is a treatment method in which the damaged cells, caused by cancer virus that’s why also called as cancer cells, are replaced with new and healthier ones. Because it helps the body make healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, a patient has the high chance to fight the cancer and reduce other infections that can be threatening or worsen the condition.
When is Stem Cell Transplant Conducted?
Healthier stem cells are transfused into the cancer patient’s body when the bone marrow has stopped working. This is also performed if there are not enough healthy stem cells, just like what’s explained earlier.
How does Stem Cell Transplant Treat Blood Disorders?
Cancer cells are replaced by healthier stem cells during the transplant procedure. Before that is conducted, a patient is treated with chemotherapy, which is a very common treatment method against cancer. With or without radiation therapy, chemotherapy must be given. Afterwards, physicians can start infusing new healthy stem cells from a donor, who is usually related to the patient. When that happens, the cancer cells are killed, giving more room for the healthy stem cells. And because the new cells are not exposed with the chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, there is a big chance to recover much faster.
Are there Risks of Stem Cell Transplant?
It may be common to wonder if there is any risk of getting treatment like stem cell transplant. Like drugs, you possibly want to know the side effects in case there is any. Well, stem cell transplant do have some risks to the cancer patient. These include infections, bleeding, organ injury, graft-versus-host disease, cataracts and infertility, most especially in women. It is also possible to have stem cell failure, which means the infusion of new stem cells may not work. The worse things that can happen are when the patient gets new cancers, or worse, death.
The chances of getting health issues and complications after stem cell transplant procedure depend on some factors. It can be due to the health condition of the patient if he or she has low immunity system, types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and the kind of stem cells injected into the body.
Generally, infusing stem cells is a good solution to fight cancer. As long as the stem cells are not complicated, which means they come from healthy donors, there should be low risk of getting stem cell transplant.