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Can I be an organ donor if I have had cancer?

You may be able to be an organ donor if you have had cancer. There are medical conditions that mean you can’t donate, but cancer isn’t necessarily one of them.

According to the UK Transplant website, you definitely can’t donate your organs if you have CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) or HIV (Human Immunosufficiciency Virus). But you may be able to donate if you have any other medical condition (including cancer). Doctors consider each case individually.

After someone dies, a health professional carefully considers the persons’ medical history. They then make a decision about whether or not some or all of the person’s organs or tissue are suitable for transplant. Because the decision is made after a person has died, unfortunately this means that you won’t know whether you can be a donor or not.

You can read more about this on the UK transplant website. There is also information about how to join the organ donors register.

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Updated: 17 April 2013