Though BMT or bone marrow transplant could become essential and unavoidable, there are some issues that need to be addressed. We have to bear in mind that they are highly complex treatments and they do carry quite a bit of risk or serious complications. Therefore, there is a need to carefully weigh the pros and cons associated with BMT and the same should be evaluated before the treatment actually begins. While your doctor would be the right person to advise you regarding the procedure, it would be a good idea to have a basic idea about the various possible challenges and risks associated with Bone Marrow Transplant. As a general rule, people who are young and who are reasonably healthy without any serious medical conditions are the ones who are considered to be the best candidates for leukemia bone marrow transplant. Further, patients who receive a transplant of their own stem cells are less likely to have problems as far as side effects are concerned.
The Main Side Effects
GvHD or gross versus host disease is one of the most common problems associated with a bone marrow transplant. This happens when the transplanted cells identify the recipient cells as foreign and start attacking them. This problem could be serious and it generally happens within a few months of the transplant. In a few cases, the problem could happen within a year or even after 2 years or more. This condition when diagnosed early is mild but at times it also could be life-threatening. The symptoms of GvHD could range from feeling sick, diarrhea, itchy rashes, dry eyes and skin, joint pain and shortness of breath.
Reduction In Number Of Blood Cells
Before going in for a bone marrow transplant, there is a need to have chemotherapy done. This will destroy the diseased blood cells. Once this has been done the new stem cells will start replacing the damaged ones and the process of producing healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets will begin. Till such time, your body is able to produce healthy blood cells you could be at the risk of anemia, and also a higher risk of infection. If the platelet count is insufficient, the patients could also face a problem with regard to clotting even from a small cut. Gum bleeding leading to anemia is also a problem that is encountered by people who go in for bone marrow transplantation.
Side Effects Caused By Chemotherapy
Many people could also suffer from side effects caused by chemotherapy. Here are a few of them. Diarrhea, loss of appetite, being sick, tiredness, mouth ulcers, rashes, and hair loss are a few of the possible side-effects caused by high-dose chemotherapy.
Go By Your Doctor’s Advice
Your doctor and the team associated with him or her are the right persons to decide if a person is suitable for bone marrow transplant or not. They will look at the overall health profile of the patient, weigh the risks versus benefits and then decide whether it would be prudent to go in for such transplants. However, in spite of the best assessment, BMT by its nature is quite risky and there are possible side-effects that have to be handled.
Gift of Life Marrow Registry Address: 800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL Phone: (800) 962-7769