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Can I donate blood if I have cancer?

Being able to donate blood if you have cancer is dependent on the type of cancer and your treatment. If you have a cancer of the blood, such as leukemia, you will not be allowed to donate blood. Certain skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, do not exclude you from donating. Whether you can donate if you have another type of cancer will depend on your treatment. If you have been appropriately treated for your cancer and completed the treatment more than 12 months ago you will likely be allowed to donate if there have been no recurrences. As there are many different regulations on donating blood for people with a history of cancer it would be beneficial to discuss this with your local donation center prior to planning to donate.
Eligibility to donate blood depends on the type of cancer and treatment history. Leukemia or lymphoma, including Hodgkin’s Disease and other cancers of the blood, render you ineligible to donate.
You may donate blood if you have a history of other types of cancer 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.
Lower risk cancers including in situ cancers and squamous or basal cell cancers of the skin that have been completely removed do not require a 12 month waiting period.
If you have had precancerous conditions of the uterine cervix which have been treated successfully, you are eligible to donate blood.
 Guidelines on eligibility to give blood change from time to time. The most up-to-date eligibility information can be obtained by contacting the American Red Cross blood center nearest you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.