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Stem Cell Transplant:
Resource Listing and Glossary
Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program
AMC Cancer Information and Counseling Line
American Cancer Society's Breast Cancer Network
Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry (ABMTR)
Blood and Marrow Transplant Newsletter
Bone Marrow Transplant Family Support Network
BMT-Talk online "chat" group
Cancer Care, Inc.
Cancer Information Service (CIS) National Institute of Health (NIH)
The Cancer Wellness Center
Cancer Hope Network
National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO)
National Bone Marrow Transplant Link, (nbmtLINK)
National Breast Cancer Coalition
National Cancer Institute (NCI)(see Cancer Information Service)
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS)
National Self-Help Clearinghouse
Oncology Nursing Society
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Y-ME Breast Cancer Organization
Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) 800-4-CANCER
Physician Data Query (PDQ) 800-4-CANCER
CenterWatch: Clinical Trials Listing Service
"What Are Clinical Trials All About?" (booklet) (available in Spanish)
"Taking Part in Clinical Trials, What Cancer Patients Need to Know"(booklet)
"Patient to Patient: Cancer Clinical Trials and You" (video)
American Society of Reproductive Medicine
Genetics and Invitro Fertilization Institute
Association of Community Cancer Centers
Barbara Anne DeBoer Foundation
Bone Marrow Foundation
Health Insurance Association of America
National Foundation for Transplants (formerly Organ Transplant Fund)
National Transplant Assistance Fund
My Friends Care BMT Fund (MI residents)
Patient Advocacy Coalition
Patient Advocate Foundation
Corporate Angel Network Inc.
National Patient Air Transport Helpline
The Internet is a valuable tool for medical research. It offers a wealth of information, some helpful, some misleading. Evaluate Internet material by asking: "What is the source of this information?" "Is it factual or opinion?" "Is it based on someone's experience?" "How current is this information?"
Additional information may be found by using a "search engine." Search engines are powerful searching programs that are helpful in finding information anywhere on the Web. Some of the popular ones are:
Begin searching with specific terms. Use broader terms next. For example, specific terms would be "stem cell transplant" and "breast cancer." A broader term would be only "breast cancer." Using quotation marks will result in a more specific search, but use the "Help" key to find out how to enter search terms correctly. If you are not comfortable using a computer, ask staff at the public library for assistance.
Breast Cancer Information Clearinghouse: http://www.nysernet.org
Bone Marrow Transplant Resource Guide, Friends Helping Friends
Breast Cancer: The Complete Guide
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness
Guide to Stress Reduction
Heal Yourself: A Step-by-Step Program for Better Health Through Imagery
Holding Tight, Letting Go: Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Hope is Contagious: The Breast Cancer Treatment Survival Handbook
Not Now...I'm Having a No Hair Day: Humour and Healing for People with Cancer
The Race is Run One Step at a Time: My Personal Struggle and Every Woman's Guide to Taking Charge of Breast Cancer
Survivors' Guide to a Bone Marrow Transplant, What to Expect and How to Get Through It
We're All in This Together: Families Facing Breast Cancer
Adjuvant chemotherapy - Drugs used to kill cancer cells. They are given with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation, to destroy areas of tumor.
Allogeneic transplant - The person donating the bone marrow or stem cells is a closely matched family member, usually a brother or sister. Or the person donating the bone marrow is a closely matched unrelated donor.
Alopecia - A partial or complete hair loss, usually a temporary side effect of the chemotherapy.
Anemia - A condition that occurs when the body's red blood cell count is low.
Antibody - A protein produced by white blood cells (leukocytes) to battle foreign substances that enter the body, such as bacteria.
Apheresis - The peripheral blood stem cell collection process in which blood is taken from a patient and circulated through a machine that separates out stem cells. The remaining cells are returned to the patient.
Autologous transplant - The patient donates his/her own bone marrow or stem cells prior to treatment for reinfusion later.
Axillary nodes - Lymph nodes located in the armpits.
Bone marrow - The spongy tissue found in the cavities of the body's bones where all blood cells are produced.
Bone marrow transplant (BMT) - A procedure developed to treat some forms of cancer and other diseases. There are several types of BMTs, depending on who donates the marrow (see autologous, allogeneic, and syngeneic).
Central line or central venous catheter - A small, plastic tube inserted in a large vein to inject or remove fluids. The central line used in a stem cell transplant allows blood samples to be drawn, drugs to be given, and the actual transplant to occur with little discomfort.
Chemotherapy - Treatment with one or more anticancer drugs to try to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells.
Clinical trials - Long-term research studies that test new cancer treatments.
Colony stimulating factor or growth factor - The proteins given to stem cell transplant recipients before and during the harvest to increase the number of stem cells in the blood.
Conditioning - A phase in the stem cell transplant process designed to destroy cancer cells more effectively than with standard doses of chemotherapy. Conditioning involves combining high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Cytokines - Naturally occurring substances that can make cells grow (growth factor).
Engraftment - Process in which transplanted stem cells begin to grow in the recipient's bone marrow and produce new white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Erythrocytes - Red blood cells that carry oxygen.
Graft failure - Complication after a transplant in which the stem cells do not grow in the recipient's bone marrow and do not produce new white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Growth factor or colony stimulating factor - The proteins given to stem cell transplant recipients before and during the harvest to increase the number of stem cells in the blood.
Harvest or stem cell retrieval - The process of collecting stem cells from the circulating blood.
Immunocompromised - A condition in which the patient has a much higher risk of infection due to a weak immune system.
Immune system - The group of organs and cells in the body that fight infection and other diseases.
Inflammatory breast cancer - A rare, aggressive type of cancer. Symptoms include redness, warmth, and the appearance of ridges, welts, hives, or wrinkles.
Informed consent - Hospital form, signed by the patient, that documents an understanding of medical procedures.
Infusion - Slow introduction of fluid into a vein referred to as an IV (intravenous).
Leukocytes - White blood cells that fight infection.
Lumpectomy - A surgery to remove only the cancerous lump and some other tissue.
Lymphocytes - A type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system.
Mastectomy - A surgery to remove all or part of the breast and sometimes other tissue.
Metastasis - The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.
Mobilization - Moving more stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream through chemotherapy and/or a growth factor.
Peripheral blood stem cells - Stem cells that circulate in the blood.
Peripheral blood stem cell transplant or stem cell transplant - Stem cells are removed from the blood, frozen, thawed, and returned after high-dose chemotherapy.
Platelets - Blood cells that act as clotting agents to prevent bleeding.
Prognosis - The predicted or likely outcome.
Protocol - A specifically designed treatment plan.
Purging - The process of removing certain types of cells from bone marrow before transplanting it to a patient. In autologous transplants, marrow may be purged of lingering cancer cells.
Radiation therapy - Treatment to kill cancer cells using high-energy rays from x-rays, electron beams, or radioactive isotopes.
Red blood cells - Cells carrying oxygen to all parts of the body (erythrocytes).
Re-infusion - The return of healthy stem cells into a transplant recipient's body.
Remission - Complete or partial disappearance of cancer cells and symptoms.
Rescue process - Another term for a stem cell transplant. The reinfusion of healthy stem cells following high doses of chemotherapy or radiation.
Staging - The process of determining and describing the extent of the cancer.
Stem cells - The "parent cell." Every type of blood cell in the body begins its life as a stem cell. The stem cells then divide and form the different cells that make up the blood and immune system.
Stem cell retrieval or harvest - The collection of healthy stem cells from the circulating blood stream.
Stem cell transplant or peripheral blood stem cell transplant - Stem cells are removed from the blood, frozen, thawed, and returned after high-dose chemotherapy.
Syngeneic transplant - The person donating the bone marrow or stem cells is an identical twin.
Thrombocytopenia - Low platelet count.
White blood cells - Cells that help fight infection and disease (leukocytes).
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