I had a stem cell transplant as part of my cancer treatment. I was told I have ‘a new immune system’. What does this mean – will I always be more prone to infection?
Following a stem cell transplant you will have very low white blood cells (these are the blood cells that help fight infection and make up your immune system within the blood stream). This is due to the treatment you have had. When doctors or nurses say ‘new immune system’ they mean that your immune system needs to build up again i.e. building up the white blood cells within the blood stream to help fight infection. The time it takes can vary from person to person, but they may remain low for some time. Unfortunately, this means you may be more prone to getting infections. These infections/bacteria would usually cause no problem and are usually harmless to people with normal immune systems.