Dr. Willis made sure to mention the side effects that could occur: extreme weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
A common approach in the treatment of lymphoma, this procedure restores stem cells destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. Without healthy marrow, a patient is unable to produce the blood cells used to carry oxygen, fight infection, and prevent bleeding. A stem cell transplant restores the bone marrow’s ability to make the blood cells. We learned about the treatment processes as well: the autologous treatment, in which the patient is her own donor, and the allogeneic transplant, when stem cells are received from somebody else, usually a sibling. Even a person unrelated to the patient may be used. Then there is the syngeneic transplant, in which stem cells are received from an identical twin. In any case, the short-term risks are all similar: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fevers, feeling depressed, decreased blood counts, loss of appetite, mouth sores, hair loss, and skin reactions. And its long-term effects included infertility, cataracts, and other organ damage.
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