How stem cells are used often gets lost in the debates about where they come from. Stem cells are currently used and will likely be used in the future to stop diseases from progressing, and they may even be capable of undoing the damage that is already present. Stem cells are used in the way that provides hope to those living with incurable diseases and conditions, and because of this, the future for stem cells is bright.
Stem cells are used for transplantation into areas of the body that need new growth of healthy cells. Stem cells are not like most cells, as they have the ability to adapt to other cells. For instance, if there is damaged tissue in the heart, stem cells can be transplanted into the area to stimulate new healthy growth. Stem cells are able to generate the growth and health that conventional medications have never been able to do, which makes them simply amazing and a lifesaver for many people.
Currently, the use of stem cells is quite limited to the public, but many conditions are treated with the transplantation of stem cells. There have been great advances in curing red blood cell diseases, white blood cell diseases, cancer, as well as repairing damaged tissues. Stem cell use will likely increase in the next ten to twenty years as scientists will hopefully find that stem cells can help repair or replace cells that cause the most chronic diseases.
Your family doctor does not typically use stem cells, if you have a condition in which you need to be treated with the transplantation of stem cells, you’ll likely see a specialist. And, stem cell transplantation is typically not something that you can just go into your doctor’s office and request such a procedure, instead, it has to be something that your doctors and specialists decide that you are a candidate for.
There are different types of stem cells, those that are collected from umbilical cord blood and embryonic stem cells as well as adult stem cells. May doctors believe that the umbilical stem cells or embryonic stem cells hold the most promise as they are younger and may produce more healthy growth than adult stem cells that can be harvested. Research continues to be done in this area, though most doctors agree that any stem cell transplantation holds more promise for people in need than no stem cells at all.
The use of stem cells will probably change a lot in the coming years as the debates die down and doctors have more access to these little miracle cells. Stem cells hold the ability to cure the incurable, and it will be just a matter of time before we are able to see the full extent of what these tiny but mighty little cells can do.
Read cord blood banking pros and cons.