I found an interesting article, published yesterday by the UK NHS Blood and Transplant Service (they organise blood donation services in England and Wales and organ transplant services throughout the UK). They have published a map showing how many people have signed up to the organ donor register in different areas of the country.
You can see a pdf of the map here or visit the News section of the NHS Blood and Transplant services and read the press release from the 6th of July 2009. Scotland comes out well, with 32 % of the population on the register in March 2009. The lowest levels are in London, where 22 % of the population are registered.
Can you be an organ donor if you have had cancer? Yes, possibly, although the decision is made on a case by case basis (which means they can’t tell you in advance if your organs will be used). There is more information on http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk and on Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Help section “Can I be an organ donor if I have had cancer?”
Can I give blood if I have had cancer? As a rule, no. See “Can I donate blood if I have had cancer?” on the Cancer Research UK webpage, you can get more information from the Scottish Blood Transfusion service. Many people who receive treatment for cancer also require a blood transfusion (or products made from donated blood) at some point during their treatment.
If you want to know more about becoming a bone marrow donor please see an earlier post called “Bone Marrow Donors Save Lives“. Are you on the organ donor register or do you give blood?