Blood counts may take 6 to 12 months, or even longer, to approach normal and for the immune system to work well. During this time, your team will continue to keep a close eye on you. Some problems may appear up to a year or more after the stem cell infusion. It may take several weeks for bone marrow donor stem cells to start working.
The time it takes to recover after a transplant varies. It usually takes about 3 months, but it is also normal for it to take more or less time. The steps are described in more detail below. In most cases, you won't feel an improvement for about three weeks, and in some cases, six to eight weeks.
However, once improvement begins, you may notice changes in your body for six months or more. Health care providers use stem cell transplants to treat people who have life-threatening cancer or blood diseases caused by abnormal blood cells. You can think of stem cell transplant as a transfusion of blood and immune cells rather than a surgical procedure. A stem cell transplant allows new stem cells to take over from the damaged bone marrow so that the body can produce healthy, cancer-free blood cells.
Because cancer cells tend to grow at a faster rate than other cells in the body, chemotherapy affects cells that grow faster than cells that grow slowly. In general, each process includes the collection of replacement stem cells, the patient receiving treatments to prepare their body for transplant, the actual day of the transplant, and then the recovery period. If you've been dealing with cancer or blood disease, a stem cell transplant can be a new lease on life. If donated stem cells have been transplanted, you will usually also need to take medications that prevent the immune system from working so hard, to reduce the risk of the body attacking the transplanted cells (immunosuppressants), or to reduce the risk that the transplanted cells will attack other cells in the body.
An alternative method of collecting stem cells is to remove about a liter of bone marrow from the hip bone with a needle and syringe. Stem cells are special cells that can make copies of themselves and transform into the different types of cells that the body needs. Health care providers often use stem cell transplants to treat cancer or blood diseases that put If you receive a stem cell transplant, your provider may use your own healthy stem cells or stem cells from a donor. Stem cells are cells in the body that have the ability to multiply and differentiate into specialized cells.
Regardless of the method of obtaining stem cells, the procedure will involve an injection into an affected area or an intravenous infusion of the cells. The procedure, as mentioned above, begins with the collection of adult stem cells from the body or body of a donor. After chemotherapy, stem cells return to the body, restoring the immune system and the body's ability to produce blood cells and fight infections. There are several types of stem cells and they are found in different parts of the body at different times.