Leukaemia: How and why to get tested as a donor

Every year an estimated 2700 people in England and Wales are diagnosed with acute leukaemia. Whilst treatments typically involve chemotherapy and radiotherapy a cure may come in the form of a bone marrow transplant.

The Anthony Nolan trust is currently trying to recruit 10,000 men to come forward to register as potential donors. Men aged 18-30 are the most likely candidates for a successful donation but currently only 12% of those on the donor register are in this group. Currently only half of the people who need a transplant are able to find a donor and, those in minority groups particularly South Asians, are even less likely to be able to find a match. The chances of finding a bone marrow match if you are of South Asian descent are only one in 20,000.

Amit Gupta, a college student from the USA who has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, has set up a website to promote testing, particularly amongst South Asians. To get tested as a potential donor for Amit and countless other patients awaiting a transplant simply apply online and return a cheek swab. The donation process itself is painless and may lead to short-lived tiredness and bruising which pale into significance when compared to the life that has been saved.

For more information on Amit Gupta or the Anthony Nolan trust please visit the links below.



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Absorbent material used to mop up bodily fluids, such as blood, for instance during an operation, or to take a sample for laboratory analysis. The term may also be used as a verb to mean the action of taking a swab Full medical glossary