Blood Donations Critical for Cancer Patients

As we step into the first month of the new year, January takes on a special significance beyond resolutions and fresh starts. It marks the beginning of National Blood Donor Month, a time to recognize and celebrate those who selflessly contribute to the well-being of others.

“Without blood transfusions available for some of these patients, they cannot get through their treatments,” said Dr. Sri Bathini, an oncologist and hematologist at Clearview Cancer Institute in Huntsville. “Without blood transfusions available for some of these patients, they cannot get through their treatments.

Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can take a toll on the body. Blood transfusions become essential when these therapies lead to a decrease in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These transfusions provide much-needed support to cancer patients, helping them endure the rigorous treatments and maintain their strength.

Chemotherapy often affects the bone marrow’s ability to produce red blood cells, leading to anemia. Anemic patients experience fatigue, weakness, and a reduced ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. Blood donations, specifically those rich in red blood cells, become a lifeline for cancer patients, replenishing their oxygen-carrying capacity and enhancing their overall well-being.

“Cancer treatments can also impact the production of platelets and clotting factors, increasing the risk of bleeding and bruising,” said Bathini. “Platelet transfusions derived from donated blood are vital for preventing or treating bleeding complications, providing cancer patients with the necessary support to continue their treatment without interruptions.”

Throughout January, communities across the nation organize blood drives and events to encourage participation in blood donation. Please consider donating blood in January or any month, as the fight for cancer patients continue year round.