The potential life saving effects of stem cell treatment has been much publicized. So has the debating raging within the political and scientific worlds regarding the ethics of obtaining stem cells for research and treatments. However, one source of stem cells which is proving to successfully treat a number of diseases and prolong lives is not receiving much attention in the media or political arena. The particular source for these vital building blocks of life is found in umbilical cord blood.
Umbilical cord blood offers a non-controversial and natural way of obtaining stem cells. Until recently medical science did not understand the life saving potential located within the umbilical cord. As a result umbilical cords were traditionally disposed of as medical waste. Cord blood stem cells are now being explored and used to treat diseases ranging from leukemia and lymphoma to sickle cell anemia, diabetes, heart disease and even cerebral palsy.
The concept behind cord blood stem cell treatment is based in the fact that umbilical cord cells are highly adaptable cells with the ability to change and develop into other types of cells. This ability is unique to cord blood stem cells and makes cord blood cells the ideal treatment for a regenerating a variety of cells and tissue in the body. In simple terms, cordblood cells are the building blocks of life and contain a unique ability to treat a growing number of illnesses and disease.
Many doctors and medical professionals are now advocating parents save the umbilical cord from birth. Cord blood is the perfect genetic match to your child, and should the need ever arise; storing cord blood is a wise medical decision. Additionally the risk of rejection is greatly reduced between siblings sharing DNA who require stem cell treatment. Studies have shown that stem cell transplants between siblings prove to have a higher success rate than that of non relatives.
Stem cell treatment is now used to treat over 80 separate diseases and growing every year. The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplants estimates the odds of stem cell treatment for any child at 1 in 217 across their lifetime. Cord blood storage opportunities are now being routinely offered to expecting parents by pediatricians and hospitals.
Private cord blood storage is handled by professional cord blood banks and the costs are not as significant as one might expect. Costs of storage vary from state to state and bank to bank, however a typical cost for cord blood storage is in the neighborhood of an initial $2000 for collection and a monthly storage fee of around $12 per month. When considering the costs of medical treatment and child birth cord blood storage is a small investment with considerable value. Some healthcare insurers are even beginning to offer partial coverage for cord blood storage further reducing individual costs.
If you are an expecting parent you owe it to yourself and your child to investigate the benefits of cord blood storage. The costs are small, the benefits are great, and many cord blood banks even offer flexible payment programs to suit any budget requirements. Deciding whether or not to select private cord blood storage is an important part of any pregnancy. There are a variety of sources on the benefits of cord blood and cord blood storage online for you to research with your physician. Get the facts and before you deliver decide if cord blood storage is the right option for you.