Preserving the Reproductive Capacity of Girls and Young Adolescent Women with Cancer: Informed Choice

Cancer 7 (107):1686-9 (2006)

Authors
Carolyn McLeod
University of Western Ontario
Françoise Baylis
Dalhousie University
Abstract
Young women diagnosed with cancer today have a greater chance of long-term survival than ever before. Successful survivorship for this group of patients includes maintaining a high quality of life after a cancer diagnosis and treatment; however, lifesaving treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can impact survivors by impairing reproductive and endocrine health. Studies demonstrate that future fertility is a concern for many women diagnosed with cancer, but physician knowledge and attitudinal barriers can still prevent females from receiving care. Today, fertility preservation is an option for girls and women facing a cancer diagnosis, and emerging research is providing clinicians with an increasing number of reproductive and hormonal management tools. Physicians can play an important role in fertility by working closely with oncologists, providing patients with information about fertility preservation options prior to the start of cancer treatment, monitoring reproductive capacity after treatment, and working with cancer survivors to explore potential avenues to parenthood.
Keywords cancer  reproductive autonomy  fertility preservation
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