Preparation

Before the Transplant Process

Your child may have chemotherapy or radiation therapy to get him ready for his BMT. The kind of therapy your child needs depends on his disease and health. Your child will start his therapies about seven to 10 days before his BMT.

Chemotherapy

Your child will have this therapy, even if he does not have cancer, because it:

  • Stops your child’s bone marrow cells from fighting the new blood and bone marrow
  • Kills any cancer cells, if your child has cancer

Side effects of chemotherapy include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of hair
  • Mouth sores
  • Poor appetite and diarrhea

Radiation therapy

Your child may need radiation therapy before his BMT to help kill any cancer cells and help his body accept the graft. This therapy uses strong X-rays aimed at your child once or twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Side effects of radiation therapy include:

  • Red skin, like a sunburn
  • Sensitive skin to perfumes, soaps and deodorants
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Dry mouth