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Can we still be organ donors?

butterflylvr's picture
Posts: 944
Joined: Apr 2011

I keep forgetting to ask this question to my oncologist. My drivers license expires in September and its currently sporing an orange "organ donor" sticker. Can someone who's had cancer still be an organ donor or for that matter a blood donor? I would think not..


mjjones453's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: May 2010

I am not sure, I think there was a post on this not to long ago, I do know that when I tried to give blood, they would not let me until I am out of treatment for 2 years. That is After radiation. I did not need Chemo. Mary

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

never asked if any cancer etc...there was posting awhile back...some said yes and some said no....curious to find out..

How would they in an emergecny? since it is marked on my license prior to me having cancer! I"LL have to as DMV next time I renew!

I too did not have chemo...


Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

wow, didnt' know that..but I have such tiny veins it would take week to fill vile. Then throw in can only use ONE arm...even narrows it down even more..


Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

By my oncologist that I wasn't qualified to be an organ donor any longer other than my corneas...and no longer a candidate to donate blood...I also have notified the Bone Marrow Transplant donor registry to be removed...had my drivers license renewed in Jan..and had my donor heart removed...sad but very understandable...

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3691
Joined: Apr 2009

And the various responses were, indeed, different. Maybe because of specific individual circumstances (i.e., lymph node involvement indicates cancer cells were dispersed from the tumor, etc.). Maybe some oncologists simply prefer to be extra cautious.

I suggest you ask your own doctor.

For me, my med onc adamantly stated: NO. Not EVER. Regarding both blood and organ donations. Am a longer-term survivor - now 7+ years since completion of all invasive treatment. Still see my med onc every six months, as I will for the rest of my life. Every once in a while - his nurse REMINDS me ("You remember that you can't donate blood nor organs, don't you?").

Prior to BC - yes, I donated blood when I could/was deemed able. And, yes - my DL once carried the sticker. No longer. My own personal perspective? The desire and willingness to be a donor comes from a very good place, one's heart, with hope and intention to help others. Maybe even save a life. It would be beyond horrible for the patient recipient of my blood/organs to eventually develop cancer because of even a single "rogue" cancer cell - from me - that is not detectable by any means available today.

Kind regards, Susan

TraciInLA's picture
Posts: 1994
Joined: Jul 2009


The answer seems to be that it's really dependent on the individual situation (what type of cancer, how long since treatment, which organs, etc.) -- this short article explains current practices pretty clearly.


chenheart's picture
Posts: 5180
Joined: Apr 2003

Well, this post doesn't apply to me anyway~I don't have an organ to donate even if I wanted to. But I do have some 8 track tapes, an old wine fridge ( what a shock!)and a huge collection of paperpack books!!! But if I ever find an organ at a yard sale I just may pick one up. Judging by the responses, organs seem to be popular!


Posts: 3659
Joined: Aug 2009

My DL has organ donor on it and when I renew it in a year plus I will have it put on again UNLESS it says something on the form that I can't. My theory is - "They" can decide at the time rather or not any part of me might be useable. Obviously as I've had a mastectomy they would know that probably I'm BC - also have my VA card, my port card and card with meds (including Femara) on it in billfold. Have a friend who would have died from his horrendous burns had they not used cadavor skin that was unsuitable for final transplants to cover the area to allow some healing even though it was going to 'slough'.


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