General Question

levi's avatar

If I've been cancer-free since '97, can I donate anything (blood, bone marrow, platelets, plasma?)

Asked by levi (20points) October 24th, 2012

I’m wondering if I can donate blood or bone marrow or related products if I’m a cancer survivor. I did NOT have a blood cancer, I had childhood lung cancer and it was over 15 years ago now. I am generally in good health. I’d like to give back to the cancer community this way if it’s at all possible. I can’t really find any information online so if anyone knows something about this please let me know!

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7 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I am pretty sure you can’t. We had a Q a while back discussing just this, and I seem to remember you would be excluded from donating. If you google blood donation in your city you will probably come up with a place you can call and ask. I mean, where are you planning to donate your bood? Call there.

Lightlyseared's avatar

You should be able to give blood. The American Red Cross accepts blood donations from cancer survivors at least 12 months from end of treatment (there are a few exceptions adult leukaemia but not childhood leukaemia, Kaposi’s sarcoma… Theres probably a couple of others).

Have a look at their website for more info on eligibility.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I commend your desire to help others. I’m sure a call to the Red Cross in your area could get you a definitive answer. Your medication regimen as well as your medical history are important factors. In the event that you get a negative answer, please consider other ways to full fill your desire to help others.

blueiiznh's avatar

Per the American Red Cross :

If you have had cancer you must postpone donating until 5 years after the diagnosis, surgery, or last radiation treatment. If your treatment involved chemotherapy, you are not eligible to donate blood.

jaytkay's avatar

There are different kinds of donations (whole blood, platelets, etc) so maybe you would be eligible for some and not others.

As mentioned above by others, call up a donation center and ask.

And it’s great that you want to give!

WestRiverrat's avatar

If you can’t donate it to be used for transplant, you can always donate your body to a medical school or research facility.

Lightlyseared's avatar

While I have found some older Red Cross web pages that list chemo as a bar to donating blood (that page is from 2003) I have found a couple of accounts from cancer survivors who had chemo and were told they could donate by the US Red Cross blog from 2010

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