Patients suffering from diseases like blood cancer are often told about the wonders of stem cell therapy. Compared to the more traditional approach of using chemotherapy or radiation, stem cell therapy is a lot less invasive and destructive, making it a better option. In fact, the entire process in itself is regenerative in nature, which runs in stark contrast to the other methods where the goal is to attack and destroy the cancer cells.
A big issue with these traditional methods of treatment, however, is that in the quest to get rid of the cancer cells, otherwise healthy cells are caught in the crossfire, which further weakens the body. With stem cell therapy, the body is able to produce healthy blood cells that take over damaged bone marrow, crucial to its recovery from the damaging cancer cells.
This example highlights in a nutshell just how relevant stem cell therapy is in today’s medical world. There are many other instances of serious diseases that can benefit from the efficiency of the regenerative approach stem cell therapy employs. Stem cell therapy can regenerate neurons damaged by stroke, brain diseases, or spinal cord injury. It can help diabetics produce insulin and repair just about any organ in the body.
Going for Treatment
Your doctor’s decision to put you on stem cell therapy will be based on the state of your health. Apart from blood cancers, stem cell therapy can also be used for improving cardiovascular health, lessening the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, mitigating the effects of Alzheimer’s, and relieving pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
It can also be recommended for those with chronic pain, for athletes suffering from injury who would like to heal faster, as well as those suffering from other kinds of tissue injury.
This is why the first step is for you to consult with your doctor. If you are already undergoing treatment for a serious disease, stem cell therapy can be recommended as an alternative approach to your treatment. If it’s for minor repair and enhancement, however, you may need to undergo strict scrutiny to determine if this kind of treatment is in your best interest.
Preparing for Procedure
The one thing that you should be careful about is your intake of any anti-inflammatory medications or aspirin for at least two weeks prior the procedure. If you are already taking medications either for treatment or maintenance, it’s best to let your doctor know.
About four or five days before the drawing of blood for the actual procedure, you and/or your donor will be injected with special medication. The purpose of this is to have your blood-forming stem cells move from the bone marrow to the bloodstream. Later on, when these stem cells surface, they will be drawn out and separated from the rest of the “regular” blood. It will then be frozen in the lab to maintain its quality before it is used for the procedure.
Start with the Healing
You’ll be surprised to know that a typical stem cell therapy session can be done in under 45 minutes; you can even do it as an outpatient, too. You’ll be given anesthesia or sedation to make it more comfortable.
After the procedure, you will be advised to get bed rest for about two days so you can fully recover. Again, avoid anti-inflammatory medication so as to not disrupt the process.
If you think you could be a candidate for stem cell therapy in Atlanta, GA or elsewhere, make sure to consult with professionals such as those from Superior Healthcare Group for best results.
What’s It Like to Get a Stem Cell Transplant? Cancer.org.
What to Expect from a Stem Cell Transplant. WebMD.