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Bone marrow transplants for breast cancer
If you have a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer, you are at risk for contracting the same disease. Wondering about the effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be overwhelming – will your body ever return to normal after such invasive treatments?
Fortunately, a bone marrow transplant can help you recover normal body function after a round of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Since chemotherapy destroys healthy blood cells as well as cancerous ones, a bone marrow transplant produces new, healthy blood to replace your damaged cells. The three types of blood cells you need to survive are red blood cells (carry oxygen), white blood cells (fight infection) and platelets (form clots). All three types of cells are produced by your bone marrow, the spongy substance in the center of your bones.
During a bone marrow transplant, your doctor matches your bone marrow type with a donor who has the same type as you do. After chemotherapy, the new bone marrow is injected into your bloodstream and migrates to the cavities in the centers of your bones, beginning to produce new blood cells after a few weeks.
Bone marrow transplants can be expensive and are often not covered by traditional health insurance. If you think you may be at risk for breast cancer, you should consider a critical illness insurance policy that will provide a lump sum benefit upon first diagnosis. Most supplemental insurance policies cover major organ transplants, including bone marrow as well as liver, lung, heart and kidney. Compare individual insurance carriers on CancerPlans.com to find the policy and provider that work best for you.