Can Cancer Survivors Donate Blood? Who Cannot Donate Blood?
About one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. Breast cancer can occur in anyone with breast tissue, but its much rarer in men than in women. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Until we do, we’ll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. To lower risk of developing breast cancer, AICR research shows that avoiding alcohol, staying a healthy weight and being physically active can all lower risk. Although research is unclear if these habits prevent recurrence. AICRs Breast Cancer Survivorship CUP Report also found indications that being physically active after a breast cancer diagnosis improved survival.
This suggests that the chance of getting cancer from a blood donor with cancer is extremely small, if it exists at all. Even if cancer cells were present in donated blood, the immune system of the person getting the blood would destroy the cells. A possible exception might be in transfusion recipients with weakened immune systems, who might not be able to fight off the cancer cells. Because of this slight possibility, people whose cancer is thought to be growing or spreading are not allowed to donate blood for other people.
What Other Types Of Donations Can I Make To Help People With Cancer
Before discussing the guidelines for blood donation after cancer, it’s important to discuss the reasons why donating may not be allowed or advisable. Many cancer survivors are able to conceive naturally after treatment. Men who lose sperm function as a result of cancer treatment, often eventually regain fertility. After removal of the skin cancer, the waiting period is only around four weeks. However, if you had a type of malignant cancer such as breast, prostate, colon, or melanoma, you will be required to go through the 12-month waiting period before blood donation is considered.
- Many of the estimated 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the US are eager for reliable dietary advice that can help them live longer, healthier lives, said Brockton.
- I found this hard to live with so I contacted the Blood service & they were not too concerned.
- Even if the answer is no, keep in mind that there are almost limitless ways that you can "give back" in your community.
- I haven’t donated blood in a few years, so I don’t know if the restrictions have changed.
- Other health and travel questions are reviewed with each donor in detail.
Verywell Health’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Dana-Farber shares patient stories which may include descriptions of actual medical results. Dana-Farber provides personalized care for each patient based on their unique needs; their experiences and results will vary. For more information about eligibility for organ donation after death, please select a category below.
Up To 30% Of Women Will Develop A Metastatic Recurrence
If you arent sure if you are well enough to give blood, talk with your cancer care team before you try to donate. Many people with cancer can see clearly the importance of donating blood, but this may not always be a healthy option. In some cases, chemotherapy can damage bone marrow resulting in anemia even long after treatment. If you aren’t sure if you are well enough to give blood, talk with your cancer care team before you try to donate. Therapy for breast cancer can be different than treatment for other cancers with an extended, preventative phase. Blood products like whole blood and platelets are lifesaving for cancer patients at Dana-Farber and elsewhere.
Did you Know? Breast Cancer Survivors can donate blood one year after their last treatment and if they are feeling well & healthy #Awareness
— Memorial Blood Centers (@MemorialBldCtrs) October 29, 2013
The risk of transmitting cancer by a blood transfusion is primarily a theoretical risk; there haven’t been any reports of people getting cancer from a blood transfusion. If the hormone is able to attach to the cancer cells using a hormone receptor, they’re known as hormone-receptor positive. During a hormone receptor test, a sample of cancer cells will be taken from your breast and tested to see if they respond to either oestrogen or progesterone. Donating your own blood for later use is called autologous donation. Autologous donation is most often done in the weeks before you have a scheduled surgery that will likely require blood transfusion. Your own blood can then be used during or after the operation to replace any blood you may have lost.
Everyones experience of being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer is different, and people cope in their own way. The results of these tests can give your doctors a more complete picture of the type of cancer you have and how to treat it. You’ll also need tests that show whether the cancer will respond to specific types of treatment.