Stem Cell Therapy is the Ultimate Cure of the 21st Century
Have you ever wondered how prehistoric people managed to survive without the help of the latest medical treatments we take advantage of every day today? How did they cure simple ailments, such as a dry cough or even just a headache? It is unimaginable how they managed to keep themselves away from terminal diseases without the use of today’s technology and modern medicine.
But as they saying goes, “where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Then again, a headache probably wasn’t the first thing they had on their minds. Clearly running away from animals ten-times bigger than them and surviving the harshest climates in the world was top priority in order for humanity to survive.
Lucky enough for us, both the world and man have evolved. It is a time when you can practically have anything, anywhere, and at any time. For a random example, if you wanted to, you could buy a house and land packages in Perth while in New York drinking tea in the middle of the night.
Nearly everything is technologically possible, and it is only getting better and better as time goes on.
The same is true with health science. Massive developments in curing fatal illnesses have become the major objectives in the field of health research, and stem cell treatment is one of the front liners in medical studies right now. Though it has become a common knowledge that bone marrow transplant is one of the widely used stem cell therapies, there is still a lot to learn about this breakthrough in health science.
Keep in mind that before making any major decisions, especially regarding you or your loved one’s health, it is imperative to learn as much as you can first before making a call that can potentially change your life forever.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are a type of biological cells that have the ability to divide or self-replicate in order to create more cells (of the same type). This replication is possible through mitosis. Stem cells are not like any other biological cells.
Stem cells have the ability to develop into mature cells. In other words, once newly formed cells develop into mature cells, they can have certain characteristics and perform specific functions – whether they turn into heart cells, skin cells, or nerve cells. The cells grow in a laboratory, and scientists build them in order to become a specific cells.
This is how vital stem cells are in developing treatments for numerous diseases.
What Are The Sources of Stem Cells?
There are two sources of stem cells: embryonic and adult stem cells. As the name itself, the embryonic stem cells come from human embryos, which are four or five day old human cells that usually come from excess embryos via in vitro fertilization. These embryos are donated with informed consent that it will be used for research.
On the other hand, adult stem cells come from differentiated cells in tissues or organs. To understand further, scientists harvest the adult stem cells from the brain, bone marrow, skeletal muscles or the skin. The adult stem cells have the ability to multiply themselves, even after removing from the mother tissue. In addition, they can manage to transform into different type of cells and perform specialized functions.
Three Major Properties of Stem Cells
Researchers are working on stem cells because of their three major properties: self-renewal, potency and identification.
Self-renewal enables stem cells to regenerate themselves in order to create new ones. The special thing about these cells is that the new stem cells are still identical to the original stem cells.
Potency allows the stem cells to transform into different types of cells. In other words, human body can recognize them as the desired cell type after culturing it in a laboratory.
Lastly, the identification property helps the scientists distinguish stem cells from other types of cells. Since they can generate themselves, scientists can easily locate them in a certain tissue or organ.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy definition: the process of using stem cells in order to cure or prevent a certain disease or medical condition. It is also known as “regenerative medicine.”
How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Stem cell therapy works by enabling doctors to address diseases or conditions through the use of stem cells as a cure for dysfunctional or injured tissues. This can help doctors cure patients without considering organ transplantation, especially when there is shortage of specific donors.
In curing a disease, doctors implant the stem cells in an organ. This method can help the tissues of the organ cure the damaged tissues. For instance, considering a liver ailment, doctors can implant the stem cells in the organ itself in order to help with the repair of the damaged liver tissues.
What are the Pros of Stem Cell Therapy?
- The therapy can open doors to medical benefits in regenerative medicine and cloning. The nature of the stem cells can help the scientists further improve on how to address diseases that do not have any cure yet, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. This can also enable scientists to proactively address birth defects and spinal cord damage.
- The therapy solves the problem with limited donors. Instead of waiting in line for heart or liver donors, the doctors can use your existing cells in order to regrow and repair your own organ. Regenerating a new organ has been made possible with the liver and pancreas.
- The therapy has a lower risk with regards to procedure testing. Scientists no longer need to administer directly on humans and animals just to test effectivity. Scientists can test stem cells on other cells.
- The therapy also lowers the probability of body rejection. In other words, there is always a high possibility that the body will accept the new grown cells since the mother cell came from the person who is being treated.
What are the Cons of Stem Cell Therapy?
- The long term side effects of the therapy are still uncertain, which is due to the fact that this treatment is still new in medical research.
- The use of stem cell therapy is under attack and stern scrutiny by religious groups and pro-life organizations, stemming from the belief that life starts and should only continue to exist by conception.
- In addition to this, the embryonic stem cells are acquired through damaging the embryos. In other words, the embryos will not become a living infant. However, some scientists argue that there is no life in the embryos since it is composed of mere cells.
- Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells come from someone who is entirely not related to the person being treated. Because of this, there is a high probability that the body rejects the embryonic stem cells. Moreover, the patient who undergoes the treatment is required to take lifelong use of drugs in order for the body not to reject the implanted stem cells.
- Embryonic stem cells can trigger tumors once injected to adult due to its ability to grow rapidly.
With everything that has been said, the decision to rely on stem cells as cure is still up to you. Doctors cannot force you to undergo stem cell treatment, but they can propose it as one of your viable options.
There are pros and cons about opting for stem cell therapy just like any other medical treatment. This process can help elevate your condition and keep you healthy, or, on the other hand, it can affect your ethical standards, on top of its possible negative physiological effects.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours.