For women with cancer, their first issue is to want to treat the cancer, of course. The second most important concern (based on some studies), is how they can preserve fertility, if they haven’t completed their family and were planning on a possible future pregnancy.
There is a new term called oncofertility, not really so new, it was coined in 2005, but becoming one that more patients and their physicians are aware of.
Long term survival of most children and adolescents with cancer is over 80%, and climbing. So most young women with cancer will plan on having children.
It is important for the patient to realize what, if any, effects her cancer therapy will have on her future fertility.
There are medical ways to help protect the ovaries (and testicles), during any chemotherapy or other cancer treatments, of clients so that their fertility goals can be achieved in the future.
Freezing a woman’s oocytes (‘eggs’) used to be considered ‘experimental’, but now is not. This process can be begun within two weeks of a decision to do so. Protocols that involve getting more or less mature eggs are in use, so that a woman who needs to avoid the high estrogen levels that used to be so common with inducing ovulation.
In women’s health, it’s all about thinking globally, in a holistic way, that should consider many options for care.