We all love a good superhero movie, don’t we? After watching them, we too would have often wished for some superpowers to ensure the well-being of our loved ones. But did you know that every baby is born with a potential superpower? That superpower comes in the form of tiny stem cells present in the umbilical cord blood that is, unfortunately, discarded after birth. Instead, if you choose to preserve them through stem cell banking, these cord blood stem cells can potentially protect your baby and your family from the impact of 80+ life-threatening diseases and more. Sounds amazing? Then let us tell you more…
The cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord following the birth of a baby. Adult bone marrow, peripheral blood, and the umbilical cord blood are all sources of hematopoietic stem cells1. These stem cells can be used to treat many diseases, including cancers, immune deficiencies and genetic disorders2. Stem cells are different from other cells in the body in many ways:
Stem cells extracted from cord blood, called hematopoietic stem cells, are used efficiently in the treatment of blood-related conditions such as thalassemia, leukemia, etc3.
That was about what stem cells can do. Before we jump to their benefits, let us understand, with a few statistics below, why there is a growing need for stem cell transplants and how cord blood stem cells can fit in.
Did you know? Globally, approximately 90,000 hematopoietic stem cell transplants will be carried out annually and the numbers might increase each year4.
As per another statistic, a disturbing trend has emerged in the field of cancer research that reveals an increase in childhood cancer cases in India. Childhood cancer cases account for nearly 3% of all cancers. Of about 3 lakh childhood cancers reported around the world, India accounts for nearly 50,000 each year5.
Based on this demand, bone marrow transplants are believed to be on a steady rise in India, every year. However, based on an experimental study, the chances of finding a matching donor for Indian ethnicity in multinational registries is a poor 16% and as low as 0.008% in Indian registries with fewer donors6.
There are other hurdles too that can arise when you consider a bone marrow transplant. Some of them are:
In this scenario, umbilical cord blood stem cells might prove to be a better option. Want to know how? Then continue to read on
Stem cells obtained from the umbilical cord have great potential in the field of transplantation medicine. The success rates of cord blood transplants are improving compared to bone marrow due to many reasons, such as:
The benefits of cord blood banking aren’t restricted to transplantation treatments alone. When you bank your baby’s cord blood stem cells, choose a bank that offers maximum benefits to your baby and family. For instance, LifeCell’s community banking program benefits are not only meant for your baby, but also extends to the entire family. Here’s how:
Therefore, it is extremely important to choose the right umbilical cord blood bank. Since it can be done only once - during the delivery of your baby - ensure you make a well-informed choice.
The umbilical cord blood contains precious stem cells with immense life-saving potential. While earlier they were discarded as medical waste, they are now proving to be a reliable source of health assurance for the baby and the entire family.
Cord blood stem cells now perform better in transplant treatments compared to even matched sibling donor6. The sample collection process is also less painful since cord blood is collected after the umbilical cord is clamped and cut after delivery. Thus, the baby or the mother experience no pain. And when you opt for LifeCell’s community banking program, you get to reap its benefits not only for your baby but also the entire family.