Bone Marrow Transplant:
What is Bone Marrow:
Bone marrow is found in the centre of bones and is where blood cells are made. Bone marrow contains the youngest type of blood cell known as a stem cell. As a stem cell ages it becomes a white cell, red cell or platelet. These young stem cells are found in the bone marrow itself, peripheral blood (blood stream) and umbilical cord blood.
What is a Bone Marrow Transplant?
A bone marrow transplant (BMT) replaces diseased or damaged cells with non-cancerous stem cells that can grow healthy new cells. BMT is usually used when cancer treatments have destroyed normal stem cells in the bone marrow. The stem cells can be replaced through BMT. A BMT is also performed when chances for cure with chemotherapy alone are low.
What is GvHD?
GvHD happens when types of white blood cell (T cells) in the donated bone marrow or stem cells attack your own body cells. This happens because the donated cells (the graft) see your body cells (the host) as foreign and attack them.
Fast Facts on Bone Marrow Transplants:
- 70% of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant do not have a matching donor in their family
- A bone marrow transplant can save the life of someone battling leukemia, lymphoma or another blood cancer. You can fight cancer just by swabbing your cheek
- Young people 18-25 years old are the bone marrow donors needed the most
- Donating bone marrow can be as easy and painless as giving blood
- Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ethnic background