Bone Marrow Transplant: A Hope amidst Uncertainty


Bone Marrow Transplant: A Hope amidst Uncertainty

Over the past few years, diseases such as leukaemias, lymphomas, immune deficiency disorders, and certain tumour cancers have shown an increasing prevalence. Factors such as environmental changes, genetic predispositions, lifestyle variations, and advancements in diagnostics have contributed to this observed rise. Through enhanced awareness, early detection, and evolving medical interventions, addressing these health challenges can be possible.

For individuals with the above-mentioned diseases, a potentially life-saving procedure is a bone marrow transplant. Offering a chance for remission or cure and potentially improving survival rates and quality of life for patients, the bone marrow transplant procedure involves substituting the unhealthy, damaged, or diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells to help the body produce normal blood cells. 

Read on as we discuss what is bone marrow transplant, the cost of a transplant and the life after bone marrow transplant. 

What is Bone Marrow Transplant? 

To understand what is bone marrow transplant, first, let us understand what bone marrow is. Residing within bones, bone marrow is the spongy, soft and fatty tissue. It is like a site where the body's blood cell production takes place. It is here that most blood cells originate, mature, and are stored before entering the bloodstream. Stem cells, also called the parent cells, are found in the marrow. They possess unique capabilities to transform into various blood cell types, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. 

Let us now understand the bone marrow transplant procedure. A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure involving the replacement of damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy stem cells. During a bone marrow transplant (BMT), these versatile stem cells are harvested and used to repopulate and regenerate the blood cells in individuals undergoing treatment for various blood-related disorders.

Types of Bone Marrow Transplant Procedure

The bone marrow transplant procedure can indeed be categorised into two types: autologous and allogeneic. Let us take a look at both:

Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant

In this type of BMT, the patient's own bone marrow cells are used for transplantation. Before the transplant, the patient's healthy stem cells are collected and stored. After chemotherapy or radiation, these stored cells are reintroduced into the patient's body to help regenerate healthy bone marrow.

Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant

The second type of BMT is the allogeneic transplant. This procedure involves obtaining bone marrow cells from a suitable bone marrow transplant donor whose tissue type closely matches the recipient's. 

Finding a compatible donor, often a family member or unrelated volunteer, is crucial for the success of this type of transplant. If you are looking for a bone marrow transplant donor, there are reputed, reliable and government-approved agencies that you can get in touch with and register yourself/ the patient. 

Bone Marrow Transplant Donation

The bone marrow donation procedure typically starts when an individual volunteers to become a donor. Donating bone marrow doesn't usually cause significant pain and can potentially cure someone suffering from blood cancer or a blood disorder. Sometimes, when healthy stem cells cannot be obtained from the patient’s own body, a healthy family member can become a bone marrow transplant donor. 

What is the Survival Rate for Bone Marrow Transplants?

One of the most common questions that comes to mind is, “What is the survival rate for bone marrow transplants?” While the survival/success rates for bone marrow transplants often range between 60 to 90%. These rates can vary widely based on several factors, including the recipient's age, overall health, the condition being treated, the type of transplant, the stage of the disease, and other medical considerations. 

Over the past few years, the survival rate for bone marrow transplants has significantly improved thanks to the advancements in transplantation techniques, supportive care, and better matching of donors. But, it is important to keep your expectations real. It is also essential to discuss all your concerns with your doctor. A medical professional who is experienced in bone marrow transplants can provide more accurate and personalised information which is based on individual circumstances and the particular conditions of the patient who is being treated.

Bone Marrow Transplant Side Effects

Being a major surgical intervention, you need to be aware of the bone marrow transplant side effects. You may be at risk of:

  • Dropped blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Chills

Bone Marrow Transplant in India

Bone marrow transplants in India play a crucial role in offering a lifeline to individuals grappling with a spectrum of blood disorders and cancers. Given the country's notable prevalence of such conditions, a bone marrow transplant often represents the primary hope for a potential cure. 

Despite the pressing need for these transplants, securing compatible donors poses a substantial challenge in India, primarily due to the vast and diverse population. Another issue at hand is the bone marrow transplant cost in India. On average, the bone marrow transplant cost in India ranges from INR 15 lakhs to INR 40 lakhs.

Bone Marrow Transplant and Health Insurance

While a number of health insurance providers offer coverage for bone marrow transplants, the coverage can vary based on the insurer, policy terms, and the specific circumstances surrounding the transplant procedure. With Care Health Insurance, you can find a number of health insurance plans that offer coverage for hematopoietic stem cells for bone marrow transplants. 

As the bone marrow transplant cost in India are very high, it is best recommended that you are well aware of the policy inclusions and exclusions. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind:

  1. When it comes to bone marrow transplants, the treatment and services can be varied. Make sure to check with your insurance providers about all the costs that will and will not be covered.
  2. For the bone marrow transplant, your insurer may require you to get a pre-authorisation done
  3. Make sure that the hospital you are planning to choose comes within the network of your health insurance provider. 
  4. There may be certain coverage limitations that come with a bone marrow transplant procedure coverage. This means that there will be some out-of-pocket expenses that you will have to bear. Because the treatment costs are so high, the sum insured may not be sufficient to cover the entire procedure. Be prepared. 

Let’s Wrap It Up

A bone marrow transplant stands as a pivotal medical procedure offering hope and healing for individuals battling various life-threatening conditions. It is a form of modern medicine's fight against various debilitating diseases. The bone marrow transplant procedure aims to replenish the body's ability to make healthy blood cells, and help in recovery from various serious conditions.

With the cost of treatment so high, it might not be easy for everyone to be able to afford it without proper insurance coverage. With the increasing incidence of such diseases, choosing adequate coverage is essential more than ever. Care Health Insurance offers a lot of options for you to choose from. Make sure to go through the most suitable plans and choose a plan best suited to your needs. 

>> Also Read: Importance of Calcium for Optimal Health and Wellness


The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.


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