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Umbilical Cords Used for Cancer, Transplant patients.

Updated on August 26, 2016

We Think About Our Precioius New Baby's Needs

Babies Saving Lives!

What would you think if I told you that every single time a child is born into this world, another person’s life could be saved by that birth?

Consider it stated, because it is the truth. After a baby is born, people have the choice available to them to have the umbilical cord blood and tissue stored in what is called a cord blood bank and use it in the future to treat life-threatening diseases. If you store cord blood and tissue you would have a source of stem cells that is an exact genetic match to your baby and may be compatible with a sibling or another family member. Another option is to donate, and it would be matched up to a patient much like bone marrow is to help treat medical conditions and diseases.

  1. Each year, leukemia kills more children than any other cancer.
  2. 70% of patients in need of a marrow transplant do not have a matching donor in their family.
  3. A bone marrow transplant can save the life of someone battling leukemia, lymphoma, or another blood cancer. You can fight cancer just by swabbing your cheek. To register as a bone marrow donor, a person swabs the inside of his or her cheek in order to provide the DNA needed to identify if he or she is a bone marrow match for someone.
  4. The likelihood of finding a donor is estimated at 66% for African-American patients, 72% for Hispanics or Latinos, 73% for Asian and Pacific Islanders, 82% for American Indian and Alaska Natives, and 93% for white patients.

Infant Patient



  • Approximately every 9 minutes, someone in the US dies from a blood cancer. This statistic represents approximately 160 people each day or more than six people every hour.
  • Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are expected to cause the deaths of an estimated 58,320 people in the US in 2016.
  • These diseases are expected to account for 9.8 percent of the deaths from cancer in 2016, based on the estimated total of 595,690 cancer deaths.


New Cases

  • In 2016, 60,140 people are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia.


  • There are an estimated 345,422 people living with, or in remission from, leukemia in the US.


  • In 2016, 24,400 people are expected to die from leukemia (14,130 males and 10,270 females).
  • In 2008-2012, leukemia was the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in men and the sixth most common in women in the US.

Hodgkin (HL) and Non-Hodgkin (NHL) Lymphoma

Hodgkin (HL) and Non-Hodgkin (NHL) Lymphoma

New Cases

  • In 2016, there are expected to be 81,080 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed in the US (8,500 cases of HL, 72,580 cases of NHL).


  • There are an estimated 788,939 people living with, or in remission from, lymphoma in the US.
    • There are 181,967 people living with Hodgkin lymphoma
    • There are 606,972 people living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma


New Cases

  • An estimated 30,330 new cases of myeloma (17,900 males and 12,430 females) are expected to be diagnosed in the US in 2016.


  • An estimated 103,463 people in the US are living with, or in remission from, myeloma.


  • Five-year relative survival has increased from 12 percent in 1960-1963 among whites (only data available) to 48.5 percent from 2005-2011 among all races and ethnicities.
  • The three-year survival rate as of January 1, 2012, is 64 percent (for all races and ethnicities).


  • Approximately 12,650 deaths from myeloma are anticipated in 2016.

Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

New Cases

  • For the five-year period from 2008 to 2012 there were approximately 75,741 new cases of MDS throughout the US, averaging an estimated 15,148 cases per year.
    • There were approximately 42,730 cases in males (averaging 8,546 per year) and 33,011 cases in females (averaging 6,602 per year


  • Facts 2015-2016. The incidence, prevalence and mortality data in Facts 2015-2016 reflect the statistics from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program, Cancer Statistics Review (CSR) 1975-2012.
  • Cancer Facts & Figures 2016. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2016.

Something to consider

While we prepare to bring our newborn baby into the world normally we are dwelling on the needs of the baby, a crib, diapers, blankets, clothing. We nest and make certain that all the items the baby will need are in our home. We daydream of what it will be like to finally hold our tiny, precious little person. We think about school, birthdays and college. I guarantee the thought of our child possibly being diagnosed as having a life-threatening disease is not on our list of plans. That's my point exactly, life doesn't always go as planned and there are millions of people out there that are small children and infants not just adults that do have these diseases and they desperately need the donation of bone marrow or umbilical cord blood and tissue just so they can live and function. The umbilical cord and placenta are literally tossed away as if they were of no use when in fact the both of them can save lives, like the ones I mentioned. We think about our children's future so much and worry about them so very much yet this one tiny action could ultimately save their life. The parents with children that have Cancer or Leukemia didn't bring their precious bundle of joy home thinking that any day the symptoms could start. This is a new scientific discovery and available and it's amazing that we can help so many people in our world that are suffering daily, just waiting for a glimmer of hope. It's something that we all should consider doing. It costs a little money, however, if something should arise in the future, it will cost much, much more in the long run. If it's not affordable there are blood banks that will help or discount the pricing and if you just don't think you want to, it is of no cost to you to have it stored publically for someone who is on one of those lengthy waiting lists rather than just disregard it.

Baby With Umbilical Cord and Placenta Attached

Two Ways to Store.

The umbilical cord all throughout a pregnancy nourishes the child by carrying oxygen and nutrients to the baby, It provides the baby with the nutrients necessary to form and grow. When the baby is born, the umbilical cord and the placenta that carry precious blood holding cells in it is normally disregarded as waste, when in fact, it could be used to save a human life.

There are two ways to protect your family which is to 1. store the umbilical cord blood and 2. store the cord tissue. The cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells that are used in transplants. Stem cell Transplants are currently the number 1 therapy for patients with Bone Marrow Disease. The 1st reported successful umbilical cord blood transplantation was in 1988. They can are capable of regenerating and can build new specialized cells. Right now they are using them in experimental therapies for autism, cerebral palsy and diabetes type 1.

Treatment Progress

There is an enormous list of diseases that are being treated with cord blood stem cells and I will list a few for you.

  • Leukemias, Lymphomas, and Tumors

  • Histiocytosis

  • Myelodysplasias

  • Blood Disorders

  • Bone Marrow Failures

  • Metabolic Diseases

  • Immune Deficiencies

Cord tissue is a source of many cell types and they play a major role in regenerative medicine. The are thought to have the capability of regenerating damaged tissues and organs. Studies are taking place now using cord tissue to treat debilitating conditions such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, Parkinson’s Disease and spinal cord injury.

Reaching Out to Save Another Life


Do you think storing umbilical cord blood/tissue is a good way to save lives?

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About the Umbilical Cord and Placenta

The umbilical cord develops by the 5th week of pregnancy. It feeds the fetus nutrient rich, oxygenated that is necessary for the baby to properly develop. When the baby is born and the cord is cut, there is blood left in cord that is no longer useful to the infant, however, medical studies have proven that the leftover blood left inside the cord is scientifically proven to treat patients in need. Cord blood contains red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma as well as being rich in flood forming stem cells similar to the stem cells found in bone marrow. This means the cord and placenta blood can be used as medical treatment for individuals in need of transplants.

About Cord Blood/Tissue Storage

Cord/Placenta Blood and Tissue for Medical Treatments

The tissue in the umbilical cord contains a "special" type of stem cell that could be used to treat medical conditions that are cartilage, muscle, and nerve related. These cells are known as "Mesenchymal Stem Cells. The cells are unique and generate at a fast pace. Your birthing process, your baby and you all safe as this procedure takes always takes place after the birth using otherwise discarded parts. They can be destroyed or used to save your child's life or another person on a transplant list.

Hi All! I am truly happy that you stopped and checked my article out. Thank you. I do appreciate it. If you would be so kind, please leave comments and follow.

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    • Mary Ann Behling profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Ann Behling 

      2 years ago from California

      Hi All! I am truly happy that you stopped and checked my article out. Thank you. I do appreciate it. If you would be so kind, please leave comments and follow. I would like to see discussions on some of the topics I have written about and also because I'm a newbie I need followers and if you have some critique I would love that as well. Thanks Again!

      Happy Writing! Mary Annl


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