Q. Can you get cancer from a blood transfusion?

Doctor Answer is medically reviewed by SecondMedic medical review team.

Answered by Seconmedic Expert

The risk of getting cancer from a blood transfusion is extremely low. Blood banks and medical facilities adhere to stringent screening and testing procedures to ensure the safety of donated blood. These measures are designed to identify and exclude blood donations from individuals who may have certain infectious diseases or conditions, including cancer.

Cancer cells are not typically found in the blood that is used for transfusions, as the blood is carefully processed and screened to remove any potential contaminants. Additionally, the immune system's defenses would likely recognize and eliminate any cancer cells that might be introduced through a transfusion.

However, it's important to note that no medical procedure is completely risk-free. In rare cases, if a donor had an undiagnosed or asymptomatic form of cancer and the cancer cells were present in the bloodstream at the time of donation, there might be an extremely remote possibility of cancer transmission through a blood transfusion. However, such cases are exceedingly rare due to the rigorous screening and testing processes in place.

Overall, the risk of developing cancer from a blood transfusion is considered negligible compared to the potential benefits of receiving a lifesaving blood transfusion. If you have concerns about the safety of blood transfusions, it's always a good idea to discuss your concerns with a medical professional.

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