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As with any medical treatment, patients contemplating stem cell therapy should educate themselves on both the benefits and potential risks associated, and speak with their doctors to learn more about the effectiveness of the treatment.

Cells For Life is committed to providing education and increasing awareness. We want to ensure you have access to all of the information needed to make important decisions in regards to stem cell treatments. To help those considering this type of procedure, cellular therapy organizations across the world have published a joint statement in an August 2013 document titled Patient Advisory for Stem Cell Therapy and Medical Tourism. We’ve summarized the key points for you here.

Educate yourself on the specific treatment.

Identify the costs, potential risks, potential benefits and expected outcomes. “A single stem cell treatment will not work on a multitude of unrelated diseases or conditions,” writes AABB in an August 2013 document titled Patient Advisory for Stem Cell Therapy and Medical Tourism. “Patients should be aware of clinics that offer treatments with stem cells that originate from a part of the body that is different from the part being treated.”

Read the “informed consent document” closely.

Confirm that any treatments offered are fully explained in this document; especially those presented outside the protection of regulated clinical trials and human research subjects protection committees.

Request written informed consent.

“As part of the informed consent process, the treatment explanation should include the success or failure rates for patients previously treated, all potential risks, alternatives to treatment, and expected outcomes,” AABB writes. Ensure this information is provided in a language that you the patient or family member can understand.

Ask questions.

Part of the informed consent process should be dedicated to creating an opportunity for any remaining questions to be answered adequately.

Be informed of clinical trials.

“Controlled clinical trials are performed to evaluate new therapies and collect patient response data,” writes AABB. Be aware of opportunities to participate.

Outline the follow up process.

Be sure to inquire about the treatment procedure steps and how patient follow up is handled. This helps to set appropriate expectations and provides direction for whom to contact with any concerns following the treatment procedure.

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