How Stem Cells can Save Your Baby
29 October 2012
Welcoming a new life into the family can be an exciting time that comes with its own expectations and fears. Unfortunately there are some things, like cancer, that you cannot protect you baby from. You may not be able to stop your child from developing a form of life threatening cancer, but you can help them fight it with the use of stem cells.
Welcoming a new life into the family can be an exciting time that comes with its own expectations and fears. It is a magic moment when you first hear your child’s heart beat at an ultrasound scan, when you first realise how real that little life is that will be joining you in just a matter of months. It is undoubtedly a scary moment, too. There is a life you will now have to care for, to protect and to keep safe. Unfortunately there are some things, like cancer, that you cannot protect you baby from. You may not be able to stop your child from developing a form of life threatening cancer, but you can help them fight it. By having a HTA licensed profession collect an umbilical cord blood sample at birth you could help give your baby a better chance at beating cancer through stem cell transplants that could save your baby’s life.
Although cancer is rare in children, in Britain 1 in 500 will develop a form of cancer by the time they are 15*. Despite the fact that there is still no cure to cancer there are chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments you can undergo to stop the spread and growth of cancer. Sadly these treatments put a lot of strain on the patients, leaving them weak straight after a session because as well as killing the cancer the treatment also kills vital bone marrow cells. This is where stem cell treatments come in. Stem cells can be used to repair immune systems and blood producing systems that have been damaged by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Patients are attached to a drip straight after their chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments to help replace the good cells the treatments would have killed off.
The stem cells that can save your baby are found in the umbilical cord blood when your baby is born. They can also be found in bone marrow, adipose tissue and blood in general. Stem cells found in bone marrow can involve a very painful, distressing and unnecessary extraction procedure, stem cells found in the adipose tissue are extracted through liposuction and stem cells found in the blood in general are very rare and hard to find. The stem cells found in the blood of the umbilical cord in comparison are a lot easier to find and the extraction procedure is completely painless to mother and baby as the cord is not attached to the nervous system.
If you want your baby to have their own stem cells that are a perfect match as insurance if they get ill then you should look into private stem cell storage
. During the stem cell collection
they will extract the umbilical cord blood and store it in a private bank until either your baby or a close blood relative requires it.
* Cancer Research UK
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