The major risk of both treatments is an increased susceptibility to infection and bleeding as a result of the high-dose cancer treatment.
Patients who undergo these procedures may experience short-term side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, mouth sores, hair loss, and skin reactions. Additionally, patients receiving BMT may experience nausea and vomiting while receiving the transplant, and chills and fever during the first 24 hours after the transplant.
With allogeneic BMT, a complication known as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) sometimes develops. GVHD occurs when white blood cells from the donor marrow (the graft) identify the cells of the patient's body (the host) as foreign and attack it. GVHD can generally be treated with steroids or another immunosuppressive agent.
The likelihood and severity of the above complications and other potential complications are specific to the patient's treatment and should be discussed with the patient's doctor.