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Survivorship Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant
Coping with Late Effects

Defining Long-term Survivorship

This guide is about long-term survivorship. It is about the years following the intensity of a transplant and the “new normal” that emerges. For the purposes of this guide, we are defining a long-term survivor as anyone who is two or more years after a bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell, or umbilical cord blood transplant. Hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) is the medical term encompassing all of these types of transplants. For the purposes of this book, we refer to them as “transplant” or “BMT.”

More than 50,000 such transplants are performed worldwide each year, of which 20,000 are performed in the USA. As treatment statistics improve and more individuals are added to the community of long-term survivors, the number of people experiencing chronic health conditions from the aftereffects of their disease and its treatment will grow as well. It is, therefore, increasingly important to provide a realistic picture of the post-transplant experience in all its complexity and diversity. The goals of this guide are to shed light on the challenges that individuals face after a transplant and to provide useful information and resources on how to cope with these challenges. Although many of us may continue to experience some chronic health problems as a result of the transplant, it is important to remember that we can live good lives despite post-transplant challenges. With persistence and good follow-up treatment, many of the aftereffects can be reduced.

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