Bone marrow is the soft, brown tissue present inside the bones. Some forms of cancer and blood diseases require the transplantation of the unhealthy tissues with fresh ones. Patients requiring stem cell transplantation also received bone marrow transplantation because the stem cells are present in the marrows. The stem cells are responsible for creating newer blood cells which in some forms of diseases especially cancer are prevented from developing. The blood cells present in the marrow help in carrying oxygen to the different parts of the body. It also contains the white blood cells which fight any kind of infection. The platelets aid in controlling any kind of bleeding.
Types of marrow transplants
There are two types of bone marrow transplant –autologous and allogenic. In autologous transplant, the body’s own cells are collected and stored for the transplant. The allogenic one, on the other hand, deals with using the cells taken from a donor who is unrelated to the patient. It can also use the cells from an umbilical cord. In case of a bone marrow transplant it is important to speak to specialized doctors so that the exact cost of bone marrow transplant is known. The specialists will also inform the patient and his family of how the entire procedure works. They will inform of the kind of transplant necessary and the source of the cells depending on the health condition of the patient.
How the transplant works?
The autologous transplant which uses the body’s own cells is useful in treating cancer. When high amounts of chemotherapy destroy the bone marrows, the fresh marrow is used to replace the damaged ones. Lymphoma, a type of cancer is treated in this method. In the second variety where the bone marrow from the donor is taken, the foreign immune system helps in killing the cancer cells. The allogenic method is also used for treating non-cancerous blood diseases.
Steps in the course of bone marrow transplant
The bone marrow transplant follows a series of steps from start to finish. These are:
- The first step is to understand the condition of the patient’s health and undergo tests. Speak to the doctor regarding the cost of bone marrow transplant in India before you proceed. You will have to undergo an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, an x-ray, various kinds of blood tests. For cancer patients a biopsy report is very necessary because it will show if the cells are still multiplying and how much is the possibility of a relapse after the transplantation is over.
- The second step is known as harvesting. This is the process of collecting the required fresh bone marrow either from the patient or the donor.
- The patient has to be prepared for the transplantation so that it undergoes successfully.
- Next, is the operation and transplantation of the bone marrow.
- Once the transplantation has been completed it is time for recovery. The patient will have to stay in the hospital for quite a few weeks before the transplantation takes effect. Recovery is slow in such cases.