Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How Your Blood Donation Helps
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when we are reminded of the importance of early detection, research, support and action in finding a cure.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. As of January 2021, in the United States, there are more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer.
This year, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States, with nearly 50,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. About 2,650 new cases of invasive breast cancer are also expected to be diagnosed in men in 2021.
The role of blood transfusions in cancer treatment
With crucial medical and procedural advancements to combat specific forms of cancer, in many instances, effective cancer treatments trigger a need for blood transfusion.
There can be blood loss during cancer surgery, which might call for red blood cells and platelets to replenish blood loss and support clotting.
Also, one of the most common side effects of cancer-fighting chemotherapy is low blood-cell counts.
Patients receiving other cancer treatments, such as radiation and bone marrow transplants, can require blood transfusions to help them avoid infections or excessive bleeding due to a lack of platelet production.
Blood donors make a lifesaving difference
Blood transfusion is a unique treatment because it is made possible by volunteer donors.
While all blood types are needed, Carter BloodCare currently has an urgent need for type O blood and platelets.
Type O is in high demand because O- is the universal red cell donor, the only type able to give red cells to all other recipients, and O+ red blood cells can be transfused to any positive blood type.
Platelets are used to help prevent bleeding and infections in cancer patients.
How to donate blood with Carter BloodCare
Carter BloodCare encourages all eligible blood donors to support breast cancer patients and those in need of transfusions by donating blood and platelets.
Donors in good health that weigh at least 110 pounds can give blood starting at age 16 with parental consent; those 17 years and older may give blood independently. There is no upper age limit. Prospective donors can check their eligibility online.
Find a Carter BloodCare donor center or mobile drive near you, or call or text 800-366-2834 to make an appointment to donate.
Be sure to invite friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers and others to join you in donating blood. You can also host a blood drive to get your community involved.
Blood donation eligibility for cancer survivors
Blood donor eligibility guidelines have evolved over the years. Survivors with solid tumor cancers, including breast cancer, are now eligible to give blood only two years after treatment, rather than the prior five-year deferral.
If you are a cancer survivor interested in donating blood or if you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact Carter BloodCare’s Donor Notification Department at 817-412-5603 or 1-888-480-8200. You can also email the team directly at email@example.com.
As a thank you in recognition of your donation, each Carter BloodCare donor in October will receive a grab bag containing a random giveaway, ranging from gift cards to T-shirts and other items.