If you have been diagnosed with cancer or certain other diseases, your fertility may be at risk. We are often asked, “Are cancer patients informed about the impact of treatment on their fertility?” Chemotherapy and radiation can destroy follicles in the ovary, speeding the natural decline of ovarian reserve and causing either temporary or even early menopause. These same treatments can also damage sperm-producing cells within the testicles causing azoospermia.
A recent article published in Psychooncology suggests that up to half of cancer patients are not adequately informed about the impact of cancer treatment on their future fertility. This systematic review included data from 23 previous studies published from 2007 to 2016. The authors found that patient education in this area varied according to the provider’s specialty, the patient’s age and gender, and the provider’s attitude and knowledge regarding fertility preservation.
A new cancer diagnosis can be an incredibly overwhelming event for patients and their families. It is easy for future concerns, such as fertility, to get lost in the shuffle. Nevertheless, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends that “healthcare providers discuss as early as possible the risk of infertility and fertility preservation options with all post-pubescent patients who will undergo cancer treatment.”
At Fertility Centers of New England (FCNE), we are committed to providing outstanding care to all of our patients. Patients with a new diagnosis of cancer often have a very narrow window during which they can pursue some type of fertility preservation. We will work with the patient’s oncologist to expedite treatment in the safest, most efficient way possible. With 11 locations throughout New England, we offer all of our patients access to the most convenient, affordable, exceptional fertility care available.
Please contact us with your questions. We are here for you!
Clinician provision of oncofertility support in cancer patients of a reproductive age: A systematic review. Logan S, Perz J, Ussher J, Peate M, Anazodo A. Psychooncology. 2017 Aug 1.