How Cord Blood Can Be Used as a Treatment Option
When we talk about the treatment of leukemia or other forms of cancer, several common treatment methods come to mind – surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and in some cases, the methods are used in conjunction with one another.
While the efficacy of the above methods is undisputed, oftentimes, the recovery process is long, with patients having to endure long hospital stays and/or outpatient treatment. This process can be difficult for adults, but perhaps even more so when it affects children.
The prevalence of cancer among children under 15 might not be considered high with around 90 to 100 children affected each year, making up just 1 percent of all cancer cases. However, it could be argued that this number is already unpleasant, especially when it affects your own loved ones. Among the childhood cancer cases occurring in Singapore, leukemia accounts for a staggering 35%. It is paramount that other treatments be available for this ever-rising number of cancer cases.
Understanding The Process of Banking Your Child’s Cord Blood
Now that you’re aware of what cord blood can do, you might be curious to know more about it. Put simply, cord blood is the combination of stem cells and blood that is collected from the umbilical cord of your newborn baby, which is processed and stored in private stem cell banks for future use.
The process of collecting your baby’s cord blood is simple. After your baby is delivered and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, blood is drawn from the cord and stored. The umbilical cord is then disposed of. There is minimal risk to the mother or baby during this process, and it is quick, painless and most importantly, safe.
The cord blood is then sent to a laboratory for processing and storage, handled with utmost care every step of the way. Current medical literature has proven that stem cells in cryogenic storage remain viable for at least 23 years.
If there is a need for your child’s cord blood to be used in the future, simply contact your private stem cell bank to make the retrieval request. Your child’s cord blood will then be tested for safety, and once confirmed, the cord blood will be sent to a treatment facility of your choice. With StemCord, you can also arrange for the cord blood to be sent to an overseas facility.
When the need arises for stem cells in medical treatment, a request is made to the stem cell bank and they are retrieved. Before they can be used in treatment, the patient must first be prepared to accept them, and this preparation (usually taking around a week or two) can take the form of chemo or radiotherapy, the choice of which will differ from person to person.
As for the actual stem cell transplant itself, that’s a little simpler. It’s usually administered intravenously, like you would when you’re getting a blood transfusion
Cord blood is doing amazing things
These truly are exciting times in medicine, and in the very near future, we could be looking at newer treatment options for today’s pressing medical conditions. This will be made possible owing to the advances being made in stem cell treatment research.
There are endless possibilities and the only thing you’ll have to do to benefit is to bank your child’s cord blood when they’re born. Although stem cell treatment is not the only answer, it does open the door to more options when the need arises. And having more options, especially when your child is concerned, can never be a bad thing.
Want to learn more banking your child’s cord blood? Arrange for your free & non-obligatory appointment with our consultants today!