There are thousands of people suffering from various blood disorders that often lead to leukemia. This is a form of cancer but there are different types of leukemia. While some are risky and in most case fatal, there are others that can be treated with medications, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of all. Sickle cell anemia is one such case where the patient might have no other option but to go through bone marrow transplant procedure. Though many of us might have heard about bone marrow transplantation or BMT, not many of us might be aware of the same.
We will try and make it convenient for laymen to understand that BMT is all about. We all know that our bones have hollow inside them. These hollows are the places where the production of red blood cells, white blood cells and also platelets take place. Each of the above three forms of blood is extremely important. While RBCs help in transportation of nutrients to various parts of the body, white blood cells are known for their ability to fight diseases and ward off infections. Platelets have many important functions and they help our blood to clot in case of injuries and other such events.
Why The Need For Bone Marrow Transplants
In some patients, the bone marrow does not produce the right quantity or the right quality of blood cells (red and white) or platelets. When this happens, the patients become extremely weak and anemic. This is what sickle cell anemia is all about. There are other forms of bone marrow disorders and some are cancerous in nature. In other words, the blood cells are improperly formed and they have a tendency to feed on healthy blood cells leading to depletion of healthy cells across the body. In such cases, the conventional line of treatment is chemotherapy, coupled with radiation or just chemotherapy. In case this does not work, the only option is to go in for bone marrow transplant blood type match.
What It Is All About
It is a procedure by which the blood groups and the bone marrow of the donors and recipients are matched. If they are found to be compatible, then the donor’s bone marrow cells are injected into the body of the patient. This is done through an intravenous process and in most cases, it happens at the base of the spinal cord. It the recipient’s body that accepts the bone marrow from the donor’s body, then the bone marrow starts producing healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This reduces anemia and helps the patient to recover. This is one of the options followed when it comes to treating sickle cell anemia.
The Pros And Cons
While this is a tested and proven way to combat bone marrow diseases and has helped to save many lives, there are some problems attached to it. if the recipient’s body is able to accept it, then things are fine and the patient has a good chance of partial recovery or even full recovery. However, on the flip side, there could be the risk of infections and that could become a challenge for doctors. Risk of rejection of the bone marrow could lead to a lot of complications also.
Gift of Life Marrow Registry Address: 800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL Phone: (800) 962-7769