Bone Marrow Transplant Survival Rate

You all may have heard of cases in which siblings of the patient suffering from different types of cancers were asked to donate their bone marrow as a part of their treatment process. People that are under the trap of some cancers like leukaemia, myeloma, and lymphoma, are given the bone marrow transplant treatment in which a high level of chemotherapy is given and in some rare cases, even whole body radiology. So, how is its transplant beneficial in cancer treatment? And what exactly is the survival rate after bone marrow transplant? We are here to supply you with all the factual and correct answers to these questions that must have been raiding your mind.

What Is the Bone Marrow Transplant Survival Rate?

Medical sciences have always been the game of probability. In the case of bone marrow transplant, the chances of survival have noticed to be wavering with time. The rate is calculated with respect to the percentage of patients receiving blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cell transplants that have survived more than the time period allotted to them, to the failed cases.

As compiled by the Centre for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) analysis (2010-2012 tenure), the survival rate of bone marrow transplant was noted to be 71.7%, taking into account several factors such as age, the type of disease and donor type. If we go by the statistics shown and inferences drawn from a study included in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, this rate has seen a significant rise in the recent years.

Possible Side Effects of Bone Marrow Transplant

The human body is very fragile, especially that carries an ailment, and so, every possible treatment method applied to a diseased body carries certain side effects. Same is the case with bone marrow transplants.

A bone marrow transplant gone wrong may show symptoms like chest pain, low blood pressure, fever and chills, headache, nausea and shortness of breath. There are many complications that relate to such treatments as well, including anemia, internal bleeding (lungs, intestines or even brain), cataract, blood clotting in liver and other areas, severe damage to vital organs, stunted growth in children who received a transplant, menopause before scheduled time, graft failure, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)–in which foreign cells start killing the host cells, serious infections, inflammation and stomach related troubles. But, such complications that arise during your treatment process are all dependent upon your age, donor type as well as the type of transplant received.

How to Extend Bone Marrow Transplant Survival Rate

Now, when you are through with the tactics behind bone marrow transplant and its success rate, you must be wondering how to extend the survival chance. Take a look at the points below to have full understanding:

1. Take Medications

Obviously, the first step is to maintain your medication schedule and follow it precisely without any lapse. Have your medical expert fully known about any troubles experienced in having certain medicines like antibiotics, antirejection medicines or pain relievers, and all kind of allergies. Maintain a list of medicines, herbs and vitamins you are currently taking and update them from time to time. Never miss out on noting down of proportions advised to you of a certain medicine and the correct timing of their consumption. Always keep your list with you, in case any emergency occurs.

2. Wash Your Hands Regularly

Ever thought that regular usage of hand soap can increase your bone marrow transplant survival rate? No? Well, you now know that. Do not forget to wash your hands with lukewarm water and mild soap after touching your nose or mouth, after every visit to the toilet, gardening or being outdoors. Using disinfectants before and after touching wounds and open gash is also a very good idea.

3. Plan Your Diet

Keeping a tab on what and when you are eating is also beneficial in taking the success rate up. Avoid consuming raw meat and prefer meat or eggs that are thoroughly cooked. Have properly washed vegetables and fruits. If advised, you can always go for a low microbial diet. Never have tap water and even avoid brushing teeth with it. If absolutely necessary, you can always boil it before consumption. Avoid packed and frozen juices as well; have fresh fruits instead.

4. Take Care When Around Pets

Uncalled infections can occur if you are exposed to animals for a long time. So, do not forget to take necessary precautions before coming in contact with your beloved pets if you want a higher bone marrow transplant survival rate. Wash your hands regularly, avoid cleaning littering and cages on your own, have your pet regularly checked-up, stay away completely from reptiles such as lizards and primates like monkeys, keep your pet on high-quality food so that they are healthy and less infectious.  

5. Remember to Say No

If you are advised or asked to stay away from certain places and people, especially after a stem cell transplant, do that without any lapse of judgment. It will help you avoid catching up serious infections. Stay away from sick people, those who have a rash, avoid crowded places, construction sites, ponds or lakes and avoid visits to another country. Always remember to say no to people and situations that might affect adversely.

6. Other Precautions

  • Bathing and showering: Keeping yourself clean is always must. Have a warm shower every day with a mild soap. Look out for inflammation or sore skin.
  • Going to the bathroom: Avoid outdoor washrooms or public toilets. Women should avoid the usage of tampons.
  • Sex: Practice safe sex by using latex condoms during intercourse to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 
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