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Questions to ask about stem cell transplant

The following are questions that you can ask the healthcare team about stem cell transplant. Choose the questions that fit your, or your child’s, situation and add questions of your own. You may find it helpful to take the list to the next appointment and to write down the answers.

  • What is stem cell transplant?
  • What are the benefits and risks of stem cell transplant?
  • What type of stem cell transplant will I be given?
  • Will I need a donor? If so, who can be a donor?
  • How is a stem cell transplant given?
  • How long will the stem cell transplant treatments take?
  • Will I have to travel to another hospital for my stem cell transplant?
  • How long is the hospital stay for a stem cell transplant?
    • Does the hospital have a child life specialist to plan play therapy, schoolwork and other activities for my child?
  • Can a support person (such as a partner, parent or friend) stay during stem cell transplant? What about visitors while I am in the hospital?
  • What are the chances it will be successful? When will we know?
  • Is any preparation needed for stem cell transplant?
  • What tests are done during stem cell transplant?
  • Are any immunizations or vaccinations needed before stem cell transplant starts?
  • What are possible side effects of stem cell transplant? When would they start? How long do they usually last?
  • Which side effects should I report right away? Who do I call?
  • What can be done to treat side effects?
  • Is a special diet needed?
  • Are there special things that I should or should not do during or after stem cell transplant?
  • Will stem cell transplant affect usual activities? If so, for how long?
  • Will there be other treatments after stem cell transplant? If so, what kind?
  • When are follow-up visits scheduled? Who is responsible for follow-up after stem cell transplant?

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Stephanie Hermsen Thanks to the incredible progress in retinoblastoma research made possible by Canadian Cancer Society funding, my son won’t have to go through what I did.

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