If you have been diagnosed with a disease for which a bone marrow or cord blood transplant (also called a BMT) is a treatment option, your doctor may talk to you about other treatment options. A transplant may be your best option, or another treatment may be better. Even if transplant is the best option, you will have other treatments along the way.
Other treatments you may have include:
- Chemotherapy — Drugs that are often used to treat leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers. Chemotherapy is also used to prepare patients for bone marrow or cord blood transplants.
- Radiation therapy — A treatment that uses a form of energy to destroy cancer cells and may also be used to prepare patients for bone marrow or cord blood transplants.
- Blood transfusions — Red blood cells or platelets given to patients who have too few of these blood cells.
- Immunotherapy — A newer treatment option that uses parts of the immune system to fight disease. There are many types of immunotherapy approaches, including radioimmunotherapy, which uses radioactive antibodies to target disease cells. You can learn more about immunotherapy at the American Cancer Society® Web site at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/eto_1_3_Immunotherapy.asp.
You may also have other treatment options. These include newer treatments being studied in clinical trials. The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on your disease. It will also depend on your age, overall health and other factors. It is important that you discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Ask your doctor questions to make sure you understand what you can expect from any treatment.