AML (Acute myeloid leukemia) is actually a malignancy of the myeloid line of our blood cells which is usually characterized by the rapid development of abnormal cells which accumulate within the bone marrow as well as blood and interfere with the normal production of blood cells. The symptoms might consist of shortness of breath, feeling exhausted, bleeding, and easy bruising, as well as enhanced infection risks. On some occasions, the spread might occur to the skin, brain, or gums. AML, being acute leukemia, progresses very quickly and is usually fatal in the long run if not treated on time.
In case you have tried any other treatment for AML and there is a possibility for the malignancy to return, you might be suggested a bone marrow transplant by your medical practitioner. It is actually a powerful treatment which will be replacing the cancer cells with immature blood cells, also known as “stem” cells that can develop into healthy ones.
This option is not meant for everybody out there. The treatment might require several months and also comes with some unwanted risks and side effects as well. Below, we have mentioned the benefits and drawbacks of AML bone marrow transplant which will help you to understand whether it will be appropriate for you or not.
Bone marrow transplant types
Stem cells are present in the bone marrow which is actually the spongy part of the bones that are responsible for producing blood cells. A bone marrow transplant will aid in replacing the cells within the bone marrow which have become damaged because of malignancy or by the radiation or chemotherapy required for treating your AML.
In a bone marrow transplant, fresh stem cells will be injected by your physician into the blood where they will be traveling to the bone marrow. They will help to restructure your immune system, which is actually the defense of your body against any ailment after it has become weakened because of chemotherapy.
You will come across 2 primary bone marrow transplant types, namely, allogeneic and autologous.
Autologous bone marrow transplant
In this case, your own stem cells will be used by your physician. They will be taken from your system before starting the cancer treatment and they are going to store them as well. Following this, they will be returned to your body after chemotherapy has already destroyed the cancer cells.
Why your physician might be recommending it
The fresh stem cells will not attack your body whatsoever. This will help to minimize the possibility that you might have a severe side effect known as “graft-versus-host disease.”
Why your physician might not recommend it
The stem cells won’t help in destroying any surplus cancer cells since they will not see these cells as something dangerous. It is also feasible that several cancer cells might be collected along with the stem cells which might return to your body in the long run.
Allogenic bone marrow transplant
This type of leukemia marrow transplant makes use of stem cells that have been donated from other people. Physicians make an attempt to find somebody having similar blood and tissues like that of yours such that the cells will not be seen by your body as a threat. In fact, your siblings might be able to provide you with the best possible match. In case you do not have any relative who will be able to donate, you might be matched with an unidentified donor by means of a national registry.
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