A stem cell transplant or a bone marrow transplant is a process in which healthy cells are infused into the body to substitute the damaged or infected cells. These healthy cells are called stem cells. Such transplants are used in the treatment of certain cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, etc. The cancer cells spread faster than the regular ones so chemotherapy is needed to kill the cells that are growing faster than the others.
So what is the difference between the two?
As it turns out, there is no major difference between these transplants except for the way in which the cells are collected.
The cells that are transplanted are called Hematopoietic cells and these are necessary as they produce the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets which are required to carry oxygen, keep away infections and allow blood to clot to heal wounds respectively.
These Hematopoietic cells are present inside the bone marrow. Sometimes these cells move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream. These are called Peripheral blood stem cells.
When the cells for the transplantation are collected from the bone marrow, it is called bone marrow transplant and when the cells are collected from the bloodstream, it is simply called stem cell transplantation.
Types of transplants
There are 3 types of cell transplants –
- Autologous – In this type of transplant, the patients receive their own stem cells.
- Syngeneic – This is when the patients receive stem cells from their identical twins.
- Allogeneic – This type of transplant happens when the patients receive stem cells from their family members or someone unrelated to them (a donor).
Questions to ask your doctor
When going for stem cell transplantation, here is a list of questions that you must ask your oncologist.
- Whether Stem Cell transplantation is the right treatment option for you?
- What are the risks and side effects of the transplant?
- How the transplant will affect your life, regular physical activities and routine?
- What happens after the transplant and how long before he can tell if the transplant worked?
- What happens if the transplant is unsuccessful? Whom to contact in an emergency?
Stem cell transplantations can be a very important part of your cancer treatment. Choosing the most suitable doctor and oncology team to help you with the process is very essential. Apollo Hospital Cancer Group firmly believes that Cancer is Conquerable for each and every patient that comes to us. With its excellent infrastructure and state of the art medical services, we take utmost care in motivating and taking care of each patient. The Apollo oncology team has expert doctors and you can get in touch with them at https://www.apollohospitals.com/