Stem Cell Therapy Abroad - Medical Tourism

Stem cell therapy is a relatively new and controversial treatment for many conditions and diseases that are untreatable with other methods. Researchers believe that stem cell therapy has the potential to dramatically change the treatment of human disease.

Stem cells are in some ways pre-cursors to normal cells in your body. They act as a sort of silent reserve. When your body needs to produce other specialized types of cells (such as skin cells, blood cells or nerve cells) the stem cells are called apon.

There are a number of stem cell therapies already in common use today such as bone marrow transplant that is used to treat leukemia. Researchers also hold great hope that that these new technologies will be able to treat a wide variety of disabilitating conditions such as spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and muscle damage. However, there still exists a great deal of social and scientific uncertainty surrounding stem cell research and is generally not available in western nations – causing many patients to search overseas for treatment.

Stem cell therapies use embryonic stem cells (taken from early stage embryos), Adult stem cells (harvested from bone marrow) and Umbilical cord blood stem cells (from newborn infants umbilical cords). Umbilical cord stem cells have less rejection then Adult stem cells, but the use of embryonic stem cells is controversial on religious and moral grounds.

The controversy over the use of embryonic stem cells emanates from the techniques used in the creation and usage of stem cells, which require the destruction of a human embryo and/or therapeutic cloning.

While stem-cell research is a highly promising area of science, offering potential to treat many serious diseases, it is no miracle cure. People should be cautioned against false optimistic and unrealistic claims of miracle cures.

There are also risks, as the harmful side affects of using stem cells have not been fully explored. Researchers worry that transplanting foreign cells could trigger an overzealous attack by the immune system, or that stem cells could start to grow in unexpected ways or places, establishing the wrong tissue in the wrong place.