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Can Cancer Survivors be Organ Donors?

Several cancer survivors look forward to helping patients who require organ donation. They understand the need and urgency of the situation and want to be a helping hand. It is possible for cancer survivors to be organ donors. Although, according to oncologists, there are several complications related to cancer survivor donations depending on, the cancer type of the donor, the area affected, if the cancer was occurred during a younger age and has not relapsed for more than a year now.

In case the cancer was spreading at an active and a high rate, then doctors have advised that no internal organs can be transplanted. Whereas other body parts like the tissues, skin, tendon, and bones can be acceptable.

However, American Cancer Society strictly advises for any donors with any type of cancer except those suffering from blood or eye cancer, can successfully donate their corneas.

There are certain types of cancer that are considered as a high-risk factor for the recipient to get cancer. These are melanoma, breast cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, and sarcoma.

Can Donated Organs Give Cancer?

Although the chances of passing cancer through organ donation are very small, it has occurred in several cases as reported by top oncologists. Why this happens is because the recipient is given drugs and medicines which help them to suppress their immunity, which in turn helps the prevention of rejection of the transplant. All these medicines present in the blood system may fail to recognise and kill cancer cells that may have been transplanted through the donation. Oncologists recommend against the transplant of an organ through a donor suffering from active spreading cancer, whereas, it is okay to accept organs from donors suffering from primary brain tumours, which does not spread further than the stem of the brain.

Types of Organ Donors for Cancer Survivors:

Generally, there are two types of organ donors: Living Donors and Deceased Donors.

It is a known fact that cancer survivors cannot be living donors. It is suggested that every deceased patient to be reviewed during their time of death and depending on the cancer type, status, and functionality of the organs, some or all organs are donated. Along with the organs eyes, skin, bones, tendons, and tissues can also be donated after the cancer patient has passed away.

In the case of living donors, the transplant will be done only if the needed or the required organs are in good shape and has not sustained any type of damages during the treatment. One of the main concerns for living donors is the side effect that the donation will have on the recipient.

If you are a cancer survivor and thinking about donating your organ, then please do refer to your oncologist in order to avoid any sort of complications to you or your recipient. If you are thinking about helping others by being an organ donor, then your generosity is encouraged and truly appreciated.  

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