Lanka Hospitals’ Centre for Blood Disorders; a fully-equipped facility that specializes in treating blood related cancers including bone marrow transplant treatment has documented remarkable success in curing and managing patients with blood cancers.
Lanka Hospitals Centre for Blood Disorders is a facility available in Sri Lanka that successfully carries out bone marrow transplant treatment, comparable with international standards under the expert guidance and involvement of internationally-experienced and a qualified clinical haematologist /haemato-oncologist.
Dr. Saman Hewamana who has studied and worked for more than 10 years in the UK in Clinical Hematology specializes in haemato-oncology and has worked as a consultant in the National Health Service (NHS, UK) before his return to Sri Lanka about three years ago.
“Lanka Hospitals accepts all patients who have been prescribed bone marrow transplant treatment by their consultants. But our specialist care begins from the time we accept these patient as outpatients or in patients” he said.
“Patients who would opt to travel overseas for bone marrow transplant treatment can now confidently undergo same in the comfort of their own country at Lanka Hospitals, at a fraction of the cost without compromising on the quality or effectiveness of the treatment,” added Dr. Hewamana.
Bone marrow transplants/stem cell transplant is a very well tested and proven modality of therapy for Hematological cancers. There are three basic types of blood related disorders/cancers and individual areas of specialization for each of these conditions, commonly identified as leukemia, lymphoma and plasma cell myeloma for which the centre offers treatment including bone marrow transplants.
Itis a routine course of treatment for certain types of blood cancers and has been successfully done in countries with a highly advanced level of medical science and practice. However it is a relatively new type of treatment in Sri Lanka. Some forms of Hematological malignancies can only be treated/ cured by bone marrow transplants. It has been practiced worldwide for decades with great success in fighting cancer. However, the success of the transplant outcome depends on the patient and donor factors.
Bone marrow transplant treatment can be described in simple terms as an extreme form of chemotherapy. Whereas in chemotherapy medications are injected to kill malignant cells. In bone marrow transplant treatment the clinician may prescribe treatment that kills all cells in the hematopoietic system before bone marrow treatment to introduce new cells begins. These cells could be from a donor or from the patient himself before treatment, he said.
“While the consultant oncologist/haemato-oncologist or clinical hematologist is solely responsible for the crucial decision to prescribe bone marrow transplant as a course of treatment to counter the type of blood disorder the patient suffers from, the rest of the journey to recovery is very much in the hands of Lanka Hospitals’ Centre for Blood Disorders.” says Dr. Saman Hewamana who together with a team of Oncologists, heamatologists, transfusion physicians, micro-biologist have been working meticulously and tirelessly toward setting up this centre.
Dr. Hewamana reiterates the importance the centre’s highly trained and dedicated nursing and support staff which Lanka Hospitals are proud to have established:“This team of specially trained nursing staff work full time only with blood cancer patients, monitoring their reactions to the bone marrow transplant,” he said.
Patients on bone marrow transplant treatment could develop a series of symptoms as a side effect such as bleeding, infections, GVHD (graft vs host disease) etc. GVHD condition could affect the liver, gut, skin or lungs and eyes and it is crucial that trained, vigilant staff observe the general health condition of the patient, and manage them appropriately.
In any part of the world, one of the major factors in the success or the recovery rate in hematological cancers and bone marrow transplant patients is supportive care of the medical team who attends on the patient during their treatment. Accordingly at Lanka Hospitals, bone marrow transplant treatment is a collective effort by a team of highly trained and skilled nursing staff dedicated to this unit, supported by a team of junior medical officers, clinical pharmacist and dieticians.