Cord blood can potentially provide therapy for a growing list of medical conditions and disorders, and physicians around the world are encouraging families to get involved with Cord Blood Awareness Month – ongoing throughout July.
One of the goals of the cord blood awareness campaign is to help inform people of the potential benefits of cord blood, and dispel misconceptions that many families have about the prospective therapy. Cord blood is still relatively unknown to the general public, and facts are often misunderstood by a number of myths regarding cord blood.
Many families assume that if there is no history of cancer within their bloodline, the next generation is unlikely to be diagnosed with the illness. However, the cause of most cancers remains unknown to the medical community at large, and there are no guarantees that children are immune to the disease. Physicians advise a family that banking their baby’s cord blood is similar to an insurance policy in which protection is available should the worst occur.
Some families believe that collecting cord blood takes valuable blood away from the baby, and choose not to do so as a result. But cord blood is collected from the placenta and the umbilical cord following the birth of a baby, which are normally discarded as afterbirth and therefore, wasted. Physicians recommend that parents agree to take 5 minutes after the baby’s birth to collect the cord blood before the sample is thrown away.
Others believe that cord blood stem cells are only useable within 10 years after they are collected. But the latest clinical research indicates that cord blood stem cells can be just as useful after 24 years as they would be on the day of the collection. Researchers assume that cord blood stem cells are indefinitely viable, and continue to conduct research to test those theories.
Families are advised to learn more facts about cord blood, and dispel previously perceived myths.