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Stem cells are exceptionally promising in treating various diseases, injuries, and other health conditions. The success rate of stem cell therapy has proven results due to its efficacy in treating health conditions related to the blood. It has saved many lives of people with blood cancer (leukaemia) and is also used for tissue grafts to treat diseases related to the skin and surface of the eye. Medical experts are still exploring new avenues that could open more possibilities to cure life-threatening diseases.
Platelets, red blood and white blood cells always start as immature cells called hematopoietic stem cells. While your blood is forming, young cells are underdeveloped, and stem cells mature into different types of blood cells, varying on what one's body requires when cells are developing.
Stem cells are mostly found in the bone marrow, where they get separated to make new and mature blood cells. After maturity, blood cells move out of bone marrow and enter the bloodstream. Sometimes immature cells also enter into the bloodstream, and those are called peripheral blood stem cells.
To treat blood cancers like non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukaemia and multiple myeloma, peripheral blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants are the two most effective treatments. They make the body capable of producing blood cells after a strong dose of radiation or chemotherapy. As per the records, around 50,000 transplants are done every year. In most cases, chemotherapy and radiation kill blood cancer. Precisely, stem cell transplants replace bone marrow cells that are affected or destroyed by prolonged cancer treatment or due to cancer only.
Embryonic and adult stem cells are the two main cell types they are divided into.
Embryonic Stem Cells- These stem cells are pluripotent stem cells coming from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst. These cells come from an in vitro fertilisation procedure and are given to science for research.
Adult Stem Cells- These stem cells are usually in small numbers in mature tissues, such as fat skin, brain and bone marrow. They have more limited potential to help various body cells develop than embryonic stem cells.
While certain tumours cannot travel to the bone marrow, others can originate there. When cancer targets the bone marrow, it either causes it to produce cells that are unhealthy and don't function properly or too many of some cells that push out other cells. These malignancies must function correctly and produce new, healthy cells to cease spreading.
Leukemias, multiple myelomas, and lymphomas comprise the majority of malignancies that interfere with bone marrow function. These malignancies all develop in blood cells. Other malignancies can spread to the bone marrow and impact blood cell production.
A stem cell transplant may play a significant role in managing some forms of leukaemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. The purpose of the transplant is to remove the cancerous cells and any unhealthy or damaged cells that aren't functioning properly and to give the patient new, healthy stem cells so they may "start again."
Also Read: Cancer Treatment Cost In India: Important Things You Need to Know
Transplant or stem cell therapy is a procedure where new cells are inserted into damaged tissues to treat various medical conditions. As per the research, stem cell transplant has proven successful, with a 50% success rate in treating different types of cancers, aplastic anaemia, thalassemia and many more health conditions. Also, it has shown a progressive success rate of 70-80% in treating benign health conditions such as aplastic anaemia.
In recent years, stem cell therapy has become famous as more people consider it a possible cure for various ailments. Fatigue, headaches, chills, nausea, and low-grade fever are short-term adverse effects of stem cell treatment. Because side effects differ from person to person, only some patients experience them. These adverse effects are often minor and transient. The type of stem cells employed, the dosage, and the injection route may all affect the likelihood of adverse effects.
It's important to note that stem cell therapy is a safe and successful choice for treating various ailments, including but not limited to spinal cord injuries, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, degenerative neurological disorders, and diabetes, despite the potential adverse effects. Individuals can choose if stem cell therapy is the best treatment for them by carefully weighing the risks and benefits and being closely monitored by a medical practitioner.
One must prepare to undergo the therapy. Below mentioned are a few tips that you can follow to avoid any mishaps during the therapy-
Stem cell therapy is undoubtedly a promising treatment and needs more research to make it work for various illnesses. However, it is essential to consider the potential risks and benefits before undergoing the therapy. While stem cell therapy is usually safe, there could be a few things one needs to be watchful about. It is recommended to consult a healthcare provider before undergoing the therapy and go for reputable clinics that have performed enough clinical trials already.
In a nutshell, while therapy provides benefits, it is crucial to approach it cautiously. The process may cost you a fortune if you aren't armoured with health insurance that covers advanced technology methods like stem cell therapy. Care Health Insurance's Critical Illness Insurance will indemnify you for the hospitalisation expenses for the treatment. Thus, buying health insurance in time is always recommended, so you don't have to shell out your lifelong savings.
Disclaimer: Please verify the policy details and coverage with the official policy documents. Also, kindly consult a professional medical expert to verify the details of health concerns.
Published on 21 Mar 2023
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