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Ask the Doc

October 2013 • Published in The Daily Press, Ashland WI

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Throughout my treatments, I received several blood and platelet transfusions to assist in my fight. I’m proud to say I am now a cancer survivor! With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I’d love to donate blood to commemorate my cancer journey. Can I?


Thank you for asking this important question, and congratulations on your three year anniversary as a survivor!

As a cancer survivor, you are a true hero already – and in good company. According to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. And amongst these cancer survivors, the question “Can I donate again?” is a common one.

At Memorial Blood Centers (MBC), our primary concern is ensuring you’re healthy enough to donate. For most cancers, including breast cancer, we follow one general guideline – you must wait one year from the date of your last treatment, surgery or radiation to donate again. While I commend you for wanting to give blood to honor your fight, this deferral period is put in place for your safety. Note - those who have had a blood cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma are deferred indefinitely.

If you’re able, join MBC in spreading breast cancer awareness this October by asking all those eligible to roll up their sleeves! Fact is - one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. As more people are diagnosed, the more hospitals rely on blood products from volunteer blood donors to aid in patient recovery.

Help turn cancer patients into cancer survivors in the Ashland area! Make an appointment online by visiting MBC.ORG and clicking the Schedule Now button to schedule a donation. You can also search by zip code for a community blood drive or schedule an appointment to donate in October at one of our donor centers most convenient to you.


Jed Gorlin, M.D. is Medical Director and Vice President, Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers. Elizabeth Perry, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Memorial Blood Centers. 

Send us your questions at askthedoc@MBC.org. Call us today 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about Memorial Blood Centers and how we partner with the Ashland community to save lives. You also can visit us online at MBC.ORG.
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