Potential Side Effects from a Stem Cell Transplant for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
The early side effects of a stem cell transplant aren’t from the transplant, but rather from the high-dose chemotherapy and radiation. These can be serious, but they should go away over time while you are recovering from the transplant. You may also experience a strange taste in your mouth from the preservative used to freeze the stem cells. These are some common side effects. They vary depending on whether or not you received your stem cells from a donor. Ask your doctor which ones may be most likely for you:
Other side effects may appear years later or be long-lasting. These are possible long-term side effects:
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a possible side effect only of allogeneic (donor) transplants. This condition occurs if the immune cells in the donor’s stem cells attack your skin, liver, gastrointestinal tract, mouth, or other organs. The symptoms include severe skin rashes with itching, severe diarrhea, fatigue, and muscle aches. Mild GVHD can be a good thing as it attacks any remaining lymphoma cells as well, but more severe GVHD may be debilitating or even life-threatening.