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In year after blood or marrow transplant, 6-8% regret it

Regret was more likely if cancer returned or if the patient felt less support from family and friends prior to transplant

Age21-75 years old
Number of Participants184
Research GoalImprove Quality of Life
A small number of people regret having a blood or marrow transplant (BMT) within 6 to 12 months, research shows.

BMT can cure leukemia and some other diseases. But, BMT is a long process and can have serious side effects. During the months before and after transplant, people can’t work or go to school. People often need help from family members until they recover.

One year after transplant, 8% of people said they regretted having BMT, according to a study by the CIBMTR. Researchers surveyed 184 people who had transplant for leukemia or other diseases during 2011-2013 about their social, emotional, and physical well-being over the course of a year after BMT.

People whose disease came back were 18 percentage points more likely to regret BMT. However, people who had graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious side effect, were not more likely to regret BMT. 

Relationships with friends and family affect whether patients regret BMT 

Also, people who said they felt close to family, friends and neighbors, or felt supported by a partner before BMT, were less likely to regret BMT. 

Although the questionnaire did not ask people why they regretted BMT, researchers said that it might be due to the amount of help they needed from family and friends. More research is needed. 

Better education on risks might prevent regret 

Also, some people might not have fully understood the risks of having BMT, despite having the risks explained to them. These people might benefit if education about BMT was tailored to them. 

Ask your doctor

  • What are the potential benefits and risks of BMT? 
  • What programs and counselors can help me and my family? 

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