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Bone Marrow Transplants

Bone marrow is the fatty, soft and spongy tissue inside your bones that makes blood stem cells.

It constitutes the following parts of the blood cells:

  • Platelets, which helps in the blood clotting.
  • Red Blood Cells (RBC), which helps in carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
  • White Blood Cells (WBC), which helps in fighting any infection and provides immunity to the body.

Apart from the above, Bone marrow also comprises of immature blood-forming stem cells known as “Hematopoietic Stem Cells” or HSCs. These cells are different from one another and can only reproduce themselves. Given that, these stem cells are unspecialized, which means that the cells either have the capability of multiplying within their cell division or remain as stem cells and mature into many other kinds of blood cells.

WHAT IS THE NEED OF BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION?

Bone marrow transplantation is carried out when a person’s marrow is not healthy enough to perform its basic function. The reason for which include chronic infections, disease or cancer treatments.

Some reasons for a bone marrow transplant include:

  1. Aplastic Anemia: This is a disorder in which the marrow stops reproducing blood cells. Transplantation helps in producing new blood cells.
  2. Cancers: Different kinds of cancer diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma etc. can damage the marrow and its cells. Hence it has to be transplanted.
  3. Chemotherapy: During this phase of treating cancer, infected cells will be treated but cannot be replaced. Bone marrow transplantation helps in reproducing new cells.
  4. Congenital Neutropenia: It is an inherited disorder that causes recurring infections which leads to presence of few abnormal neutrophils in the blood. Transplanting these cells is a must.
  5. Thalassemia: This is an inherited blood disorder where the body produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin, an integral part of red blood cells which leads to disorderly function of red blood cells.

Some of the other benefits of Bone marrow transplantation are:

  • A Bone Marrow Transplantation replaces your damaged stem cells with healthy cells.
  • It also helps your body make enough White Blood Cells, Platelets and Red Blood Cells to fight against infections, bleeding disorders, anemia or cancer diseases.
  • The healthy Bone marrow cells can be stored before transplantation.

In brief, During a Bone marrow transplantation, Healthy stem cells can come from a donor or they can be partially extracted from the healthy bone marrow of one’s own body. If the cells are extracted from the patient’s own body then the stem cells should be removed in order to harvest or grow them, before you start chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

What Are the Difficulties arise with a Bone Marrow Transplant?
Complications can be not severe or very serious, and they can contain:

  • Graft-versus- host disease (GVHD), It is a condition in which donor cells strike your body
  • Graft failure, will happen when transplanted cells don’t start producing new cells as planned
  • Bleeding in the lungs, brain, and other Segments of the body
  • Cascade, which is distinguish by clouding in the lens of the eye
  • Harm to vital organs
  • Untimely menopause
  • Anemia, which comes when the body doesn’t produce sufficient red blood cells
  • Mucositis, It is a problem that causes inflammation and soreness in the mouth, throat, and stomach

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