Common Myths about Cord Blood Banking Busted

Did you know that umbilical cord blood has proved to be a valuable source of stem cells? Did you know that cord blood has been used to save thousands of lives and can treat over forty life threatening diseases? Through cord blood banking, you are preserving a vital medical resource that could someday provide life saving therapy for your child or family member.

Is this Procedure Ethical?

Cord blood stem cells that are drawn from a baby’s umbilical cord, are often surrounded by political and ethical debates. Unfortunately, this had given rise to many misconceptions about cord blood banking and many parents dism iss the idea all together, since they cannot make an informed decision. Doctors and scientists continue to insist that parents should consider stem cell banking to store this resource for the future.

We understand that the decision to save your child’s cord blood can be a confusing decision with so many opinions surrounding it. Here are a few facts, which we think will debunk some common myths and misconceptions about the procedure.

Top Five Cord Blood Myths Debunked

MYTH

FACT

“Doctors would never treat the child with his or her own cord blood stem cells because it would contain the disease.” Autologous transplants (the use of your own stem cells) have been conducted for over a decade and have successfully treated diseases ranging from neuroblastoma, to lymphoblastic leukemia and other cancers.
“We don’t have a history of cancer in our family, so we won’t need to bank our baby’s stem cells” Doctors have ascertained that leukemia is not hereditary. In fact, the causes for most cancers still remain unknown. Parents should consider cord blood banking as an additional safeguard.
“The cells are only viable for 10 years.” Current data shows that they have been stored for up to 24 years without any significant loss or proliferation. Cryopreservationists say that these cells can be stored indefinitely, which will be proved with time.
“People of mixed ethnic backgrounds should donate their cord blood” Parents from mixed ethnic backgrounds will have children with a unique HLA antigen profile. Finding a matching bone marrow or cord blood donor in the future will be difficult and rare. So, doctors encourage such parents to go in for private cord blood banking.
“I can donate my child’s cord blood to a public bank and it will probably be there for me in the future.” Parents must understand that only a small portion of all donated samples are stored. Usually, 80-85% of the samples are sent for research projects. So, it is better to privately store cord blood.

Forget the idea that stem cell therapy is a theory from a science fiction movie. This research has been in the forefront of biomedicine for over 20 years and can potentially save lives.

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