Patient Awareness

Lung Cancer

People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer, though lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you’ve smoked. If you quit smoking, even after smoking for many years, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer.

Symptoms: A new cough that doesn’t go away, Coughing up blood, even a small amount, Shortness of breath, Chest pain, Hoarseness, Losing weight without trying, Bone pain, Headache

Stomach Cancer

Since symptoms of stomach cancer often do not appear until the disease is advanced, only about 1 in 5 stomach cancers in the United States is found at an early stage, before it has spread to other areas of the body.

Symptoms: Poor appetite, Weight loss (without trying), Abdominal (belly) pain, Vague discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the navel, A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating a small meal, Heartburn or indigestion, Nausea, Vomiting, with or without blood Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen, Blood in the stool, Low red blood cell count (anemia)

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer typically affects older adults, though it can happen at any age. It usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time some of these polyps can become colon cancers.

Symptoms: A new cough that doesn’t go away, Coughing up blood, even a small amount, Shortness of breath, Chest pain, Hoarseness, Losing weight without trying, Bone pain, Headache

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Usually prostate cancer grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

Symptoms: Trouble urinating, Decreased force in the stream of urine, Blood in semen, Discomfort in the pelvic area, Bone pain, Erectile dysfunction

What is a Bone Marrow ?

As you know, bones are the skeletal framework of our body and these bones contain a spongy tissue inside them called the bone marrow which has stem cells of two types namely;

1. Haematopoietic stem cells which are blood-forming stem cells.

2. Mesenchymal stem cells, also known as marrow stromal cells which produces fat, cartilage, and bone .

Fact: Stem cells are immature cells that can transform into different types of cells later such as the blood cells which can be either RBC’s, WBC’s or the Platelets.

When is a Bone Marrow Transplant needed?

A bone marrow needs to be transplanted in the following cases;

When the bone marrow is damaged by a genetic disease process such as in Hurler’s syndrome and adrenoleukodystrophy.
If the bone marrow is affected by disease such as leukaemia , sickle cell anaemia, aplastic anaemia .
To regenerate a damaged immune system.
To restore the normal functioning of the bone marrow after high doses of chemotherapy is given to treat a malignancy.

Definition: The procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells is called bone marrow transplant.

Procedure of a Bone Marrow Transplant:

Types of Bone Marrow Transplant :

Autologous transplant: Stem cells from the patient’s body are used .

Syngeneic transplant: Stem cells received from an identical twin are used .

Allogeneic transplant: patients receive matching stem cells from their sibling, parent or an unrelated donor.

Umbilical cord transplant: Right away after the delivery of an infant, the stem cells are taken from the umbilical cord. As the process of differentiation has not yet set in, the problem of finding a perfect match is greatly reduced thereby, mitigating complications.Hence the donation of umbilical cord by the parents to the cord banks needs to be encouraged as a proactive measure by the Government.

The bone marrow is harvested from the donor by a minor surgery done under general anaesthesia. This means the donor will be asleep and pain-free during the procedure. The bone marrow is removed from the back of both the hip bones or the pelvic bones . The amount of marrow removed depends on the weight of the person who is receiving it.

Infusion of Bone Marrow:

The infusion of bone marrow is a simple process that is performed at the bedside. The bone marrow product is infused through a central vein with the help of a IV tube over a period of several hours. Autologous products are almost always cryopreserved; they are thawed at the bedside and infused rapidly over a period of several minutes.


The initial few weeks are very important as there are high chances of complications and rejections of the transplant and so the patient needs to be monitored closely.

Engraftment occurs 2 to 4 weeks after transplantation- transplanted bone marrow begins to produce new white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in a process known as engraftment. From now on, the patient starts feeling better as the person starts recuperating.

Complete recovery of immune function can take several months for recipients who were transplanted their own stem cell and 1 to 2 years for patients receiving allogeneic or syngeneic transplants.

Full recovery of the patient in one or atmost two years depending on the case.

After which the patient is tested for any signs of malignancy and if the test returns negative ,then the patient is certified normal.