Donating Biospecimens

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

JANUARY 09, 2018

If you have seen my last two postings, you are aware that I am doing "doubles" yesterday and today in order to meet the week's quota. Read the earlier today blog, Climb Every Mountain, for more information (if you care). This one is very different and discusses the possibility of donating biospecimens (blood or tissue) for research.

Anyone who has read the wonderful book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, knows something about this, but, fortunately, things have changed, and patients and their donations are now protected in all kinds of important ways. You should never be pressured about this, but you might be asked if you would like to participate in a trial that involves such donations. Sometimes, but not so often, this involves an additional blood test or biopsy, but usually the sample can be taken at the same time as other tests that you would be having anyway.

This is a fact sheet from ASCO's Cancer Net that answers any questions that you might have. For many of us, this is an easy opportunity to contribute to science and maybe make a positive difference in future cancer care.

Donating Biospecimens for Cancer Research: An Expert FAQ

 

Two experts provide answers to your questions here. For unclear reasons, I am unable to copy and paste the introduction, but here is a link if you are interested in learning more:

https://www.cancer.net/blog/2017-10/donating-biospecimens-cancer-research-expert-faq