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Stem Cell

How Do You Get Cleared for Stem Cell Transplant?

Stem cells have been found to treat certain cancers. As of the time of writing this article, the cancers that it can effectively cure are leukemia and lymphoma, although researchers are looking for a way to utilize these special cells in order to cure other types of cancers as well.

That being said, if you happen to acquire any of the two dreaded diseases, then you should consider looking into stem cell transplants. But, how do you get cleared to have that operation in the first place? Read on to find out.

Evaluation

Before you’re given the go signal for stem cell transplant, you need to be evaluated by a medical professional first. Although they are purported to cure some forms of cancer, any type of transplants can lead to unforeseen complications that is why you need to be evaluated first if your body can handle the operation in the first place.

Aside from the possible complications, it can also be emotionally and psychologically taxing as well. It is deemed as such because you are going to go on a roller coaster of emotions before, during, and after the operation.

Furthermore, you will be isolated from your loved ones for some time so that doctors can prepare you for the surgery. And even after the treatment process, you will still need to be left alone for your body to recover.

So, before ever thinking of having a transplant, you have to factor the pros and the cons first to see if getting this type of treatment is really for you.

With all of those things out of the way, the doctor will screen you first before you are eligible for a stem cell transplant. Some of the tests that you have to undergo are:

  • Complete Physical and Health Exams
  • Bone Marrow Biopsy
  • Psychological Evaluation
  • CT and MRI scans
  • Heart and Lung Scans (X-ray, EKG, ECG).
  • CBC or Complete Blood Count

You’re given a battery of tests to ensure that the operation has a high chance of success. Failure in any of these tests would mean that you are not eligible for transplant and you may need to look to other options.

The Transplant Process

Once you are cleared for transplant, there are two ways you can have this. You can either be treated in a medical facility or hospital or you can undergo an “outpatient” treatment wherein you will be treated in your own home (although the latter is only reserved in case you cannot physically go to a medical institution).

It is important to note that since you’re going to be weak after the operation, you will need to have a caregiver or someone from your family to help you through the entire process.

Once the transplant is done, you will be observed to see if there are any complications that surface. Fever is normal if it only lasts up to 2 days. Anything longer than that would be deemed that there is an infection and further tests would need to be done to identify what it is.

Again, it really depends on the individual given enough factors as to how long the recovery process can last. If it is for the treatment of cancer, you could be required to rest for at least a year or so just for your body to be completely healed.

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