Donating Blood As A Cancer Survivor

Living in a period of such advanced medical and technological ingenuity can be exciting.

We have found out that we have the ability to develop microchips that can help our brains move and interact with prosthetic limbs. We have unlocked (and are still learning) the skill of coding digital data into DNA storage. We have even discovered that dogs are able to accurately sense cancer in human beings!

When it comes to the topic of cancer, it is a rather sensitive subject simply due to the reason that many people know or have even been personally affected by this dreadful disease. Cancer is such a prevalent disease that we even have a specific “cancer code” to help Conversational Marketing™Experts (CMEs) who are talking with blood donors that can help better categorize a donor who might be unable to donate. These situations happen more often than not when we speak with cancer survivors who might think that just because they have had the disease that they will be deferred from donating blood for life. Let’s talk about reasons why you would or wouldn’t be able to donate blood as a cancer survivor.

“You mean I can still donate blood?”

Many folks who have survived their bouts with this disease are unsure about whether or not they can donate. Keep in mind that cancer is the cause of death in almost one in four Americans. The most common cases of cancer in men are lung cancer along with prostate cancer. Women often deal with having higher cases of lung and breast cancer.

Most people who have survived cancer understand the grueling healing process and therapy that one must undergo to rid themselves of cancer. Chemotherapy can destroy the cancerous cells in a patient, but it also harms some healthy cells. There are times when surgeries to remove tumors can serve as another daunting reality of dealing with such a disease.

Most cancer survivors are completely aware of the need for blood and blood components having been direct recipients themselves. This makes them naturally inclined to want to help others, but sometimes they can need a little information to make the best decision for themselves.

The information below was provided by the American Cancer Society.

You cannot donate blood for other people if:

  • You are being treated for cancer
  • Your cancer is spreading or has come back
  • You have had leukemia or lymphoma as an adult
  • You have ever had Kaposi’s sarcoma

Blood collection centers may have slightly different standards for allowing cancer survivors to donate. For example, the American Red Cross allows most people who have had cancer to donate if the cancer was treated at least 1-5 years ago and the cancer has not come back. (The time can vary at different blood centers.) Furthermore, donors whose cancers have not spread and required no further treatment besides surgery to remove the cancer have little chance of cancer cells getting into the bloodstream. These low-risk donors may need to wait only until they’ve healed from their surgeries and feel well again to donate blood.

Are you a cancer survivor yourself? Did you need blood components while being treated?