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Women with Cancer Neglect Their Fertility


Women with Cancer Neglect Their Fertility

(ePharmaNews) - A new study has found that very few young women with cancer take steps to preserve their fertility while undergoing cancer therapy.

The researchers in this study, published in Cancer journal, surveyed 1,041 women aged between 18 and 40 years who were diagnosed with cancer from 1993 to 2007 in order to assess whether they had taken any steps to preserve their fertility before they started treatment, such as egg or embryo freezing. Such procedures enable patients to get pregnant again by implanting the frozen cells within their wombs.

Out of1041 women, a total of 918 women were treated with therapies that could negatively affect their fertility (chemotherapy, pelvic radiation, pelvic surgery or bone marrow transplant).

The investigators found that 61 percent of women received counseling on the risks of cancer treatment to their fertility from their doctors or other clinicians. Overall, only four percent of women pursued fertility preservation on the beginning of the study, and a ten percent at its end.  

"Although more women are getting counseled regarding reproductive health risks, many women are still not receiving adequate information about their options at the time of cancer diagnosis," Mitchell Rosen, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the lead author in this study said "Routine counseling regarding reproductive health risk and options for preserving reproductive potential will improve the quality of life among survivors, and the overall quality of care."

This topic has a great importance especially with the increasing number of young women diagnosed with cancer in early ages before getting the chance to conceive. More than 120,000 women under 50 years of age are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. As cancer survival rates are improving, quality of life issues are becoming increasingly more relevant.
 


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