A US study has revealed that young women who survive cancer are not getting enough information about their fertility and options for having children in the future. Many young female cancer survivors are at risk of early menopause because of their cancer treatment yet a significant proportion reported not having enough information to make key decisions, reveal the findings published in the US journal Cancer (a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society).
The study involved an anonymous online survey completed by 346 young female cancer survivors.
Dr Venkat, Director, Harley Street Fertility Clinic comments on the findings.
“This new US study finds there to be an inconsistent and unreliable approach when raising the issue of fertility amongst young cancer patients and points to the need for an increased awareness of fertility preservation options for young patients both male and female.
Some treatment options for cancer can cause patients to become infertile – it is therefore vital for patients and healthcare professionals to have an honest and practical approach about fertility preservation techniques that are now widely available both here in the UK and in the US.
When you’re young and you have cancer you may not automatically think about how your treatment might affect your fertility in the future, but options for those not ready to start a family could include egg or embryo freezing which are fairly simple procedures. As a healthcare community we need to take responsibility and ensure that we explain the impact of some treatments and encourage our young patients to take steps to increase their chances of having a family in the future. It was also clear from this research that more support is needed as part of aftercare services when patients are returning to a ‘normal’ life.”