How high-dose treatment and transplants can affect your diabetes

Some types of cancer are treated using a transplant of stem cells. Stem cells are blood cells at the earliest stage of development.

Treatment involves having high doses of chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy. It will often include treatment with steroids. High-dose treatment is used to destroy any remaining cancer cells and increase the chances of curing the cancer. After the treatment, you will have your own stem cells or stem cells from someone else (a donor) given back through a drip. These stem cells then grow and develop in the bone marrow to produce normal blood cells.

You will usually go into hospital for a few weeks while you recover from the high-dose treatment.

How high-dose treatment can affect your diabetes

High-dose treatment can cause severe side effects. These will vary depending on the type of treatment you have.

Your blood sugar level may go up or down because of the side effects of chemotherapy. And it may rise because of steroids you are taking.

You may need help managing your diabetes while you are recovering from high-dose treatment. You will need to check your blood sugar more often. And you will probably need to start taking medicines or change the medicines you take. Your doctor or nurse will give you more information.