Source: www.bethematch.org

Doctors look for a donor who matches their patient's tissue type, specifically their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type. HLAs are markers — found on most cells in your body. Your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not. The closer the match between the patient's HLA markers and yours, the better for the patient.

Once you match: More testing will be done to see if you are the best possible match for the patient. We may ask for another cheek swab or blood sample or we may be able to use a stored sample. Though almost all patient information is confidential, we can tell you the patient's age, gender and disease.

If the patient's doctor selects you as the best donor for the patient, we will schedule an information session so you can learn more about the donation process, risks and side effects. At that time, we can also tell you the type of donation the patient's doctor has requested — either bone marrow or cells collected from the blood, (PBSC) donation.

All donors are carefully prescreened to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them.

Be The Match provides support and information every step of the way.

There are two methods of donation: peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) and bone marrow. The patient's doctor chooses the donation method that is best for the patient.

PDBC Donation is a nonsurgical procedure and the most common way to donate. For 5 days leading up to donation, you will be given injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of cells in your bloodstream that are used for transplant. Some of your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm. To learn more, watch the PBSC donation video.

Bone Marrow donation is a surgical, usually outpatient procedure. You will receive anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone. To learn more, watch the marrow donation video.

Though no medical procedure is without risk, there are rarely any long-term side effects donating either PBSC or bone marrow. Your cells replenish themselves in 4 to 6 weeks.

Because only 1 to 5% or less of your marrow is needed to save the patient’s life, your immune system stays strong.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of cancer are there?
There are more than 100 types of known cancer types.

What are the early symptoms of blood cancer?
The most common symptoms of the blood cancer include: fever or chills,
chronic feeling of fatigue and tiredness, loss of appetite, frequent infections
and night sweats.

Why does the diagnosis seem to delay in most of the cases?
Cancer cells multiply literally billions of times before the symptoms start to
show. That is why some methods of screening and prevention are important.

What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is the soft centre of the bones where blood cells are formed.
When these immature blood cells start dividing rapidly it causes the
overcrowding of abnormal blood cells as a result of which cancer develops.

What should be done in case of any of these symptoms?
Since the blood cancer symptoms are quite vague, one should see the
doctor if the symptoms are unusual for the person as well as last for a longer
time.

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