Cord Blood Banking Myths 1 & 2

You have heard about cord blood banking and you probably are wondering whether you should bank your infant’s cord blood or not. It is also possible that you have got advice from different sources and you cannot figure out what is best for your situation. Many people are banking cord blood for private use simply because they are in fear that their child or a relative may someday have a disorder that may necessitate them to get treatment using the banked stem cells. Reading through the huge lot of information you find in different sources can pretty be confusing. It is always important that if your family has a history of having heritable, life-threatening disorders you talk to a genetic counselor. And because donating cord blood has a lot of benefits, public cord blood banks are a viable solution if you want to help other people get treatment using stem cell transplants. Here are a few myths about cord blood that you should know:1,2,3

Myth #1: Healthcare professionals know it all about cord blood

If a physician is telling you that you should bank cord blood because you need it in future, that may not always be true. The best thing you can do is work out things with a recognized genetic counselor to help you determine if there are genetic markers indicating that your child or a relative will get a hereditary diseases. Umbilical cord blood can be, and is indeed a life-saver. The stem cells from cord blood have been used to treat different childhood diseases including immune disorders, cancers, blood disorders, and other ailments. The point is that research is still underway, and although successful cord blood cell transplants have been done, the long term outcome isn’t yet known. At this time, there is ongoing research to see if cord blood can help with treatment of degenerative diseases.

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD who is the person in charge of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation serving at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a part of Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York says that while some people believe that cord blood transplants may in future help treat patients suffering from brain injuries, breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease, lupus, and cardiovascular disease, this may not be certain. Until research proves that, it’s only a speculation, but as clinical trials go on in different areas, there is hope that cord blood cells may help with treatment of many diseases. Already over 80 diagnoses have been treated using cord blood transplants and the long term outcomes are yet to be known.

Myth #2: If you don’t bank cord blood, there isn’t an alternative

Probably you may have been told that banking cord blood is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so if you miss it, that’s all. You won’t get treatment if your child or family member suffers a disease curable with stem cells. However, this is not always the case because there are public banks with banked stem cells that your family can use, though at a much higher cost. You want to consider private banking if there is a child with a genetic disorder that should be treated with stem cells. There are other options such as borrow marrow transplants that provide same stem cells as those found in cord blood, but there are limitations to this because it can take long before finding a match, and the procedure for getting the stem cells from a donor is aggressive.1

Keywords: banking cord blood; genetic counselor; umbilical cord blood; banked stem cells; donate cord blood; banked cord blood; donation of cord blood; cost of cord blood banking; best cord blood bank

Reference List

  1. 4 Cord Blood Myths — Busted. https://www.thebump.com/a/cord-blood-myths
  2. Myths About Private Cord Blood Banking. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12098-015-2026-6
  3. Busted: Top Myths of Cord Blood Banking. https://www.youngparents.com.sg/sponsored/busted-top-myths-cord-blood-banking/

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