New Eligibility Guidelines for Blood Donors with Previous Cancer Diagnoses
To coincide with American Red Cross recommendations, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program has redefined eligibility guidelines for donors who have had a history of previous cancer diagnoses.
New Eligibility Guidelines
- Benign tumor (e.g., lipoma, adenoma, fibroma): Acceptable to donate
- Basal cell carcinoma: Deferred for four weeks after date of surgical removal
- Squamous cell carcinoma (skin, cervix, or oral cavity): Deferred for four weeks after date of surgical removal
- Malignant cancer (e.g., breast, prostate, or colon cancer and melanoma): Deferred for one year after treatment is completed
- Leukemia, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and myeloma: Ineligible to donate permanently
- Kaposi’s sarcoma: Ineligible to donate permanently
“Worldwide, there has never been a reported case of any type of cancer being transferred via blood transfusion,” says Justin Kreuter, M.D., Medical Director of Mayo’s Blood Donor Program. “So, we recently reviewed our program’s cancer-deferral policy and updated our practice to be in line with the American Red Cross.”
The American Red Cross supplies approximately 40% of the donated blood in the United States, which it sells to hospitals and regional suppliers. Community-based blood centers supply 50%, and only 6% of blood and blood products are collected directly by hospitals.
Are These Changes Safe?
Approximately one year after most cancer treatments, the vast majority of patients will be sufficiently recovered to donate blood products.
“We continually review scientific data and medical literature on this topic—always with the best interests of our donors and recipients at the top of our list,” says Dr. Kreuter, “and as I noted earlier, zero cases have been reported in the world about transmitting cancer via blood transfusions.”
Schedule an Appointment to Donate Today
Here’s how you can schedule an appointment:
- Call the Blood Donor Center in Rochester at (77)4-4475 (Hilton Building) or (77)5-4359 (Joseph Building).
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay Connected with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center
For up-to-date information about blood-product needs and other ways you can volunteer at the Blood Donor Center in Rochester, visit the Blood Donor Center blog, the Blood Donor Center website, join the center’s internal Yammer group, and/or like the center on Facebook.
Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Blood Donor Program blog.
Does Mayo allow donors with hereditary hemochromatosis?
@steeldove Thank you for your question! At this time our Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program does not have the ability to accept blood donors with hereditary hemochromatosis. That said, we are looking into it. Please message me if you would like to talk about this further- thanks!
Is post Merkel cell carcinoma eligible for blood donation?
@angieklima At our Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, those with a history of Merkel cell carcinoma are eligible for blood donation 1 year after treatment!
While you say melanoma patients may donate you do not differentiate what kind of melanoma. Choroidal/uveal melanoma, also known as ocular melanoma, is not the same as cutaneous or skin melanoma. Uveal melanoma metastasizes via the blood, making it much like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. I would never donate blood given this fact about my uveal melanoma. If we have Class 2 our risk of mets is 72% within 5 years so while we may be mets free at 1 year out we certainly would not want to donate blood. I think you need to use the terms cutaneous melanoma and uveal/choroidal melanoma rather than lumping them together. They are separate and distinct cancers.
@nursenell thanks for your comment! We appreciate the significant diversity among the various types & subtypes of cancer. Our cancer deferral practice is donor-centric. The 1 year deferral for most malignant cancers is just where we begin the dialogue of qualifying a potential blood donor.
The period for BCC recovery before donating blood is stated as 30 days. What happens if a biopsy is taken and you choose not to have MOHS or any futher treatment. Can you still donate blood?
Basal cell carcinoma is a malignant skin lesion. In order to be eligible, the lesion must be entirely removed and the wound should be completely healed. The presence of the lesion, i.e., not removed, would prevent you from donating blood. If you have further questions about donating, please give us a call at 507-284-4475 and ask to speak with a nurse!
So what you are saying if I don't go to the Dermatologist and never confirm BCC, I can donate blood? Not sure why this regulation has recently been implemented but according to the literature BCC metastasizes in less than .005% of cases and has even a lower mortality rate, if ever. This seems like pretty low odds for ruling out blood donation. I understand the regulation but it seems a little excessive for a condition that affects a large % of the population.
Is post Merkel Cell carcinoma eligible ro donate blood?