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Thread: No longer eligible to donate blood?

  1. #1

    No longer eligible to donate blood?

    Hey everyone!
    So my last chemo treatment is this Thursday (April 4th, yay!). I was thinking about it and looked up on Red Cross's website. It says I'm no longer eligible to donate blood. I'll ask my oncologist for his final word, but is this true? I haven't donated much prior to my diagnosis (and I'm AB+, so not the most requested blood by any means), but my boyfriend often donates (he's a universal donor type so they're always asking him to donate) and I'll often accompany him for company's sake.

    I was diagnosed with Hogkin's Lymphoma stage 2 in October 2018.
    Lymphoma fighter, 25, ISTJ, LGBTQIA, Pagan
    My journey so far:
    September 2018 - dx with lymphoma
    October 2018 - 2 lung biopsies, pending information in regards to lymphoma stage, lymphoma type and treatment plan
    Halloween/Nov 1 2018 - dx with stage 2 lymphoma unfavorable, got 1st round of chemo on Nov 1, feeling nauseaous and tired but overall ok, taking supplements to reduce risk of losing hair
    April 4 2019 - Final Chemo!
    May 20 2019 - first radiation treatment!
    June 3 2019 - final radiation treatment!

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    597
    That is true. Some hard organ cancers will permit blood donation after a certain number of years in remission, or with an oncologist's approval. Blood cancers (lymphoma or leukemia) are pretty much universally denied. Can't say that I disagree, although there are blood products (red cells, plasma) that could theoretically be used without potential danger to the recipient.

    I know I wouldn't want a transfusion from myself!
    DX - 5/2010 Grade 1, Stage 4 fNHL - w/spleen and 47% bone marrow involvement
    TX - 6/2010-12/2010: SWOG S0801- R-CHOP + Bexxar + Rituxan (4 yrs/quarterly)
    Restaged (post Bexxar) - PCR-Neg/NED :2/2011
    Rituxan maintenance ended 3/2015
    1/2018: Remission continues (>7 years) Down to one checkup/year!

  3. #3
    I was told I could never donate again. It only takes one blood cell to multiply and start the disease process. I would not want to relieve my blood either and I was really sad because I did donate often.
    Female ,age 70, Diagnosed Jan 2010
    Primary CNS DLBCNHL
    Treatment every 6 weeks with High dose MTX and Rituxan for 9 months.
    Tumors shrunk and one was gone in 4 months and the larger one left some brain damage but has not become active as shown on MRI since Aug 2010.
    Since 2012 monthly Rituxan
    High Dose MTX and MRI every 4 months.
    June 6, 2014 NED
    No more chemo 6/2014

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
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    Although a completely different disease and process, we are now in a donation risk category, roughly similar to those with suspected/diagnosed HIV. Some in the research field believe that there are cancer "stem cells" which remain dormant until triggered by some unknown factor. I would really hate to donate even one of those.

  5. #5
    Senior User
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    I remember reading a couple of scientific articles which recounted such cases of transmission from one lymphoma/leukemia patient to a transfusion recipient who had then developed the same blood cancer. Although I do have a much-sought after blood type, I know I will never donate again. I would not want to be responsible for putting anyone through a cancer experience.
    PBL

  6. #6
    Senior User
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    Interestingly, the glioblastoma patients can be organ donors. Even though GB normally does not metastasize outside the brain the cancer cells and stem cells are circulating. But due to the shortage of organs they are sometimes used. Very risky.

  7. #7
    It's bizarre. I don't remember them asking me if I had any kinds of cancer that ran in my blood whenever asked the pre-emptive questions about donating blood before actually donating blood.
    Lymphoma fighter, 25, ISTJ, LGBTQIA, Pagan
    My journey so far:
    September 2018 - dx with lymphoma
    October 2018 - 2 lung biopsies, pending information in regards to lymphoma stage, lymphoma type and treatment plan
    Halloween/Nov 1 2018 - dx with stage 2 lymphoma unfavorable, got 1st round of chemo on Nov 1, feeling nauseaous and tired but overall ok, taking supplements to reduce risk of losing hair
    April 4 2019 - Final Chemo!
    May 20 2019 - first radiation treatment!
    June 3 2019 - final radiation treatment!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Posts
    10,307
    It's not what they ask - it's what you know. Blood cancers can be transmitted via transfusions. Leukemias, lymphomas, polycythemia vera and others. Why risk someone else's life? Ask doctor, as I am sure you can get some clarification.

  9. #9
    Senior User
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    This is an extract from the Red Cross Eligbility Criteria (which you can find here:[https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate...abetical.html]) that speaks for itself:

    "Cancer

    Eligibility depends on the type of cancer and treatment history. If you had leukemia or lymphoma, including Hodgkin’s Disease and other cancers of the blood, you are not eligible to donate. Other types of cancer are acceptable if the cancer has been treated successfully and it has been more than 12 months since treatment was completed and there has been no cancer recurrence in this time. Lower risk in-situ cancers including squamous or basal cell cancers of the skin that have been completely removed do not require a 12 month waiting period.
    Precancerous conditions of the uterine cervix do not disqualify you from donation if the abnormality has been treated successfully. You should discuss your particular situation with the health historian at the time of donation.
    Unable to Give Blood?
    Consider volunteering or hosting a blood drive through the Red Cross
    . You can also help people facing emergencies by making a financial donation to support the Red Cross’s greatest needs. Your gift enables the Red Cross to ensure an ongoing blood supply, provide humanitarian support to families in need and prepare communities by teaching lifesaving skills.
    "

    Regarding your memory point, here is an extract from the Red Cross Full-Length Donor History Qestionnaire (question #40):
    "Have you ever… "Had any type of cancer, including leukemia?"".
    Look it up for yourself here: [http://www.aabb.org/tm/questionnaire...HQ%20v2.0.pdf].

    One reason you may not remember having been asked this question could be that it seemed so remote as to be irrelevant at the time. How could it have struck you any more than the question about having been to England during the Mad Cow epidemic, or the one about having a relative with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?

    We tend not to pay attention to irrelevant bits of information. But now you know better, and this particular question will mean Something to you. Blood donation is all about helping others - cancer patients such as yourself, children with Sickle Cell disease, car crash victims,...

    I hope this answers your question.

    Best wishes to you for continued good health.
    PBL
    Last edited by PBL; 04-09-2019 at 07:32 AM. Reason: addendum

  10. #10
    Regular User
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    Apr 2019
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    29
    I will forever remain one pint short of five gallons donation on the Red Cross database. I am totally relieved that I stopped donating blood approximately 3 years prior to my lymphoma diagnosis because I noticed my RBC had become chronically a notch low. O Positive blood type so I was getting a lot of request calls from the Red Cross and as a result they were one of my early notifications. "Indefinite Deferral" is their category, I believe.
    Last edited by jwessel; 05-12-2019 at 01:21 PM.

 

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