What Breast Cancer Survivors Need to Know About Stem Cells

What Breast Cancer Survivors Need to Know About Stem Cells

By Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj M.D.

 

The fight against breast cancer is a winnable fight. With modern advances in treatment, increased awareness, and early detection, the survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is on the rise.

According to the American Cancer Society, women diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer have a 100% survival rate. Even stage 3 cancer has a 72% survival rate over a period of 5 years. From all indications, it seems that we are winning the fight against breast cancer.

Life after Breast Cancer. What happens after you beat breast cancer? Ask any breast cancer survivor and you’ll immediate find out that nothing is ever the same. Ask a breast cancer survivor who has lived over 20 years post-diagnosis, and you’ll learn that total lifestyle change is required. Reckless choices such as eating a poor diet, not exercising, and excessive stress damage the body that the immune system in a way that the body can no longer take.

The Dangers of Recurrence. Even more alarming is the risk of recurrence, not of breast cancer, but of other types of cancer, most notably leukemia. Studies analyzing SEER data, patients who receive chemotherapy and radiation have an increased risk for cancers such as:

  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

During breast cancer treatment, the bone marrow is affected with chemotherapy and radiation, causing significant damage to the immune system. While good diet and exercise are steps that everyone can take, often a patient’s damaged immune system allows diseases like AML and MDS to proliferate.

Overall, the risk of developing leukemia post-chemotherapy amongst breast cancer patients is anywhere between 8-17%. In women aged 20-49, the risk of MDS was 30 times that of the normal population.

This is quite alarming because younger people would expect longer survival periods and a higher quality of life. Yet in younger people, we are seeing higher rates of MDS than even people who are in the 65-74+ age brackets.

The Robin Roberts Effect. This is exactly what happened to Robin Roberts, the beloved news anchor from ABC’s Good Morning America. In August of 2007, at the age of 46, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and immediately had surgery. By January of 2008 she had completed eight chemotherapy treatments, followed by more than six weeks of radiation treatment.

Four years later, she was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a form of leukemia. Her personal battle brought the risk of cancer recurrence to millions and a public will to effectuate change. Be the Match Registry, a nonprofit organization run by the National Marrow Donor Program, experienced a 1,800% spike in donors the day Roberts went public with her illness.

Difficulty Finding a Match. However, those donors for the National Marrow Donor Program would not necessarily be able to access their own cells should they need a stem cell transplant for a blood cancer like MDS. Many times patients with cancer are not able to find an unrelated matching donor from the national donor program (your own cells are always a 100% match for you). Factors such as race and ethnicity play huge roles in determining the eligible donor pool for a particular patient. Minorities are historically underrepresented when it comes to the National Marrow Donor Program.

The Proactive Stem Cell Approach. As breast cancer survivors become more educated on these risks, many are opting to privately collect and store their own healthy adult stem cells post-chemotherapy and radiation, and not rely on potentially finding a donor if their cancer recurs. The idea behind this strategy is that the adult stem cells form the basis of the immune system. When cancer recurs, typically patients have seen their immune function decrease, with markers such as Natural Killer Cell function taking significant drops.

Natural Killer Cells are cells within the immune system that are responsible for killing cancers and other tumors within in the body. As the function of Natural Killer Cells increase, the body’s ability to defend itself against cancers rises as well.

Studies have shown that patients who have received autologous stem cell transplants have improved patient outcomes, faster recovery times, and better long term disease free survival, compared to patients who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation alone.

Having your adult stem cells in the bank is a safety net for breast cancer survivors. If a patient were to ever be diagnosed with a leukemia or a blood cancer, their banked adult stem cells would a powerful tool in the fight against cancer.

Currently the cost of this type of procedure can vary between $15,000-$45,000. For the most part, these procedures are not covered by Medicare or private insurance. As more patients decide to take these types of proactive steps for their health, the cost is anticipated to drop. However, don’t let the cost of the procedure convince you into waiting to collect and store your stem cells.

The Value of the Immune System. As we age our immune system gradually weakens over time. Starting around the age of 30 our immune systems are in a slow gradual decline until somewhere between the ages of 65-74. At that point, our immune system takes a significant drop. In essence, the longer you wait to collect and store your adult stem cells the weaker your immune system will be.

In addition to collecting and storing your stem cells, breast cancer patients should also monitor their immune systems on an annual basis. While many blood tests such as a CBC may turn up normal, there are abnormalities within the immune system that do not show up on regular diagnostic tests. Tracking the immune system gives a great indicator as to the body’s ability to fight cancer and other diseases.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 Risk. Females who have the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 gene for breast cancer, like Angelina Jolie, also fall into the category of those who need to have their immune system checked annually. While the presence of the gene indicates an increased risk for breast cancer, the mere presence of the gene doesn’t guarantee that you will get breast cancer. That’s why it is so important to monitor the immune system. If an abnormality within the immune system presents itself, it can be dealt with early before the spread of a cancer. While some females are opting for invasive mastectomy surgery, like Angelina Jolie, others are choosing to monitor their immune system before taking such drastic action.

Stem Cell Uses. As the benefits for stem cell therapy evolves, so will the amount of uses that are available for your banked adult stem cells. With over 2,000 U.S. Clinical Trials using adult stem cell therapies, there is clear evidence to show that an individual’s own stem cells have a significant capability for growth, repair, and regeneration of damaged tissue and cells in the body. Currently there are more than 70 accepted uses for adult stem cells including the treatment of many blood cancers, bone marrow failures, and immune disorders. For breast cancer patients, the risks are not just from the recurrence of breast cancer itself. With an impaired immune system, female breast cancer survivors are at an elevated risk for other types of cancer and illnesses. That’s why all breast cancer survivors should seriously consider banking and storing their healthy adult stem cells before it is too late.

 

 

Stem Cell Webinar This Wednesday March 14 with Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj MD

 

 

Learn The Latest in Stem Cell Therapies For Your Patients

Join physicians from around the world in this unique webinar

Each year it seems that our patients are more at risk than ever for life threatening and chronic illness.  Whether it is the rapid growth of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or cancer, it seems that traditional medicine has had a difficult time keeping up.

Yet for over 40 years, stem cell transplants have been helping patients survive with quality of life in the face of some of the most dangerous of illnesses.  Physicians who want to do everything they can for their patients are now turning to the proven science of adult stem cell therapeutics.

Today patients with a wide range of diseases are being helped by adult stem cell protocols.  With over 2000 ongoing FDA clinical trials, the potential to expand the field and help patients is tremendous.

Join me for this unique webinar that will discuss some of the latest breakthroughs in patient care utilizing stem cell therapeutics.  We will discuss illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, ALS, cardiac disease, cancer, and much more.

Join me in this special presentation to spread the message of adult stem cells to help patients from around the world:

What: Stem Cell Network Physicians Webinar



When: March 12, 2014



Where: Online – Click Here to Register or paste link below into your browser 

http://stemcell.enterthemeeting.com/m/VVKE8XVK

Cost: Physicians & Medical Professionals can attend free – RSVP today

Kind Regards,

Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj

Medical Director

South Florida Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Institute

Related Links:

Physicians and Medical Professionals – Learn More About the Stem Cell Fellowship

Would you like to refer a patient to Dr. Maharaj?  Please use our patient referral form

Dr. Maharaj to Keynote at the CAM for Cancer Conference – See agenda here

To learn more about Dr. Maharaj, the physician’s network, or about the latest protocols for diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and more please contact the office at:

 

International: (561) 752-5522

Email: info@bmscti.org

Copyright © 2014 South Florida Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Institute, All rights reserved.

Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj MD Featured on the Cover of Boomer Times & Senior Life Magazine

Dipnarine Maharaj featured in Boomer TImes Magazine Cover

Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj Featured on the December 2013 cover of Boomer Times & Senior Life Magazine

Recentley, Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj MD was featured on the cover of Boomer Times & Senior Life Magazine.  Dr. Maharaj was chosen to appear on the cover along with several other prominent physicians after his address at the C.U.R.E. Symposium.  At the CURE Symposium Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj lectured on his latest breakthroughs in adult stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine.  Dr. Maharaj wants everyone to know that by working on the immune system we can unlock the body’s ability to reduce inflammation, and heal itself.

Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj first made his discoveries with stem cell therapies while working with patients with various blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.  What he recommends to every healthy adult is to check your immune system and to bank your immune system for the future by collecting and storing your own healthy adult stem cells.

Why bank your adult stem cells – Dipnarine Maharaj M.D.

 

 

Why bank your adult stem cells – Dipnarine Maharaj M.D.

Dipnarine Maharaj

Dipnarine Maharaj in an Adult Stem Cell Collection Procedure –

Adult Stem Cell Banking

The collection and storage of adult stem cells from a healthy individual is an elective procedure. It is an opportunity that an individual should know about, and we would like to give you all the facts so that you can make your own informed decision.
The collection and storage of stem cells is done safely on a daily basis by thousands of healthy individuals who donate their own stem cells to a related or unrelated patient who is suffering from a disorder of the blood or an immune deficiency state. The process by which the stem cells are collected is the same as when a blood donor goes to the blood bank to donate platelets. This process is called apheresis. The difference in the case of a healthy individual donating stem cells is that they are given a medication, which is injected subcutaneously for five days. The stem cells are then collected (by arm veins in most cases) using the apheresis machine.
The opportunity now exists for a healthy individual to collect and store their own stem cells for their own personal use in the future, should they need it. The idea is not new since, for many years, parents have collected and stored the adult stem cells from cord blood for their baby’s future use, should they need it.
Transplanted stem cells are used on a daily basis and adult stem cells have been in use since the early 60’s for blood disorders. Today, they are used to treat over 80 illnesses, mainly cancers of the blood, such as leukemias, lymphomas, multiple myelomas, and from matched donors to treat sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia.
Many stem cell experts and transplant physicians believe that there will be breakthroughs in the future, and these will be helpful particularly to those individuals who have their own adult stem cells, which have been collected and stored. This is known as the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

Adult Stem Cells

All cell types in the human body originate from a group of stem cells in the early development in the mothers womb. Specialized cells are then formed from various stem cells in early development to form every organ of the body. There are certain cells in the human body that are constantly regenerating tissues throughout life, such as blood, nerves, muscle, and skin. These cells are adult stem cells. Stem cells are capable of replicating themselves, or differentiating into a variety of specialized cell types.
Most adult stem cells are located deep within organ tissue, which means that they are surrounded by many ordinary cells. They regenerate specific tissue when those cells in the body need to be replenished. Adult stem cells are found most often in organs which require a consistent cell supply, including blood, skin, and the gut lining.
Adult stem cells are specialized cells, meaning that they only give rise to a limited cell type. Scientists believe that there is a way to stimulate adult stem cells to be more flexible, so that they would be able to give rise to unspecialized cells.

 

 

Dipnarine Maharaj Introduction to Adult Stem Cells

 

 

Dipnarine Maharaj Introduction to Adult Stem Cells

Dipnarine Maharaj

Dipnarine Maharaj – Medical Director, South Florida Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Institute Boynton Beach, FL

INTRODUCTION
Stem cells have the power and potential to be one of the most effective agents against aging available to medicine today. A stem cell is an unspecified cell that can both self-renew (produce an exact clone of itself) and differentiate into mature tissues, such as the heart, lung, liver, etc. Adult stem cells are collected from bone marrow (bone marrow stem cells), peripheral blood (peripheral blood stem cells), and cord blood (cord blood stem cells). Embryonic stem cells are collected from a fertilized egg or from an embryo, and can form any of the 200 different tissue types present in the body. It is important to remember that embryonic stem cells are a foreign tissue, and thus carry the risk of all the complications associated with an allogeneic or an unrelated donor transplant if these cells are transplanted into an individual. This paper is concerned with adult stem cells.

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