LET’S TALK ABOUT HEALTH Donating Bone Marrow Gives Life
by daniel vicencio
#4Sept WORLD LEUKEMIA DAY
Leukemia is a blood disease that involves abnormal production of white blood cells by the bone marrow. Bone marrow is a type of fluffy, flexible tissue found inside bones.
To better understand this disease, we must know that white blood cells are an important part of the body’s defense mechanism, these grow and divide in an organized way as the body needs them. However, in leukemia, these types of cells are divided causing a proliferation of altered cells that do not die as they are supposed to after they have matured or become damaged, therefore, this condition is also classified as blood cancer.
This accumulates and displaces healthy cells. White blood cells, therefore, would not be able to fulfill their function properly as the blood cells that persist are defective. This leads to difficulties in transporting oxygen to tissues, controlling bleeding, or curing us of infections.
The cause of this condition has not been established. But if it is known that it is not contagious or hereditary. However, some risk factors should be considered such as a previous history of treating other cancers, suffering from a genetic disorder, or being exposed to toxic agents.
There are several types of leukemias: some of them can often be cured. Other cases are difficult to deal with. But they can be controlled.
Treatments may include radiation therapy or chemotherapy and stem cell transplants. Also depending on the type of leukemia, it can progress in different ways: For example, in a chronic phase the progression is slow and in an acute phase the progression is much faster.
It’s important to know what signs to look for. Depending on the type of leukemia there may be specific symptoms, but the most common are: • Tiredness and Weakness • Fever • Loss of appetite and weight •Appearance of reddish spots on the skin, also called petechiae, in areas such as chest, back, or arms • Unusual bleeding • Difficulty breathing •Shortness of breath, due to decreased oxygen to cells
As no specific prevention is yet known for this disease, doctors recommend living a healthy lifestyle and moving away from toxic habits. Follow tips given for other types of diseases, especially the cancer type. It is important to be aware of any strange signals that occur in our body, even if they are minor.
Everyday hundreds of people in the world are diagnosed with this disease. I hope for it to be 100% curable soon. In the meantime, we invite you to register as #médulaósea potential DONOR, because for many children, teens and adults a bone marrow transplant is the only chance to heal and come home healthy!! YOU can be that miracle... Join us to give LIFE WHILE ALIVE.
But... what does it take to become a voluntary bone marrow donor? To register as a voluntary stem cell donor, also known as bone marrow cells, all you have to do is donate blood normally at a blood bank. You don’t need to be fasting.
A small sample that is genetically tested is drawn from that blood. The rest of the blood is used in patients who need it for treatments and surgeries. Genetic data is entered into a database and is available for comparison with patients who need a transplant, also registered in the database. Alaska does not have a bone marrow donation registry, however the Alaska Hospitalist Group, has organized bone marrow drives in the past.
Daniel Vicencio holds a bachelor’s degree in Bioimage Production from the National University of Córdoba and the International Red Cross since 2010 in his hometown of San Rafael; He is also an environmental advocate, RSU’s leading volunteer recycler at Fundación Garrahan, and is working in the Province of San Luis, Argentina.
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