Fertility preservation has become an important aspect of cancer treatment and counseling for patients of reproductive age. More successful therapies have led to an increased awareness of quality of life issues for cancer survivors. The ability to have children after over-coming a diagnosis of cancer is a significant quality of life goal for many patients.
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Notes Related to the Power Point Presentation
Slide 1: Title Slide
Slide 2: Increased cancer treatment success has led to an impressive 5 year survival rate of greater than 70% among pediatric oncology patients. In turn this has allowed for a greater emphasis on quality of life issues including those related to fertility. Improvements in cancer treatment and subsequent success has been parallel to the advances in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) which now allows for several effective fertility preservation options for patients diagnosed with cancer. As a result of the advancements; these two separate disciplines are now crossing paths to provide complimentary treatment. Therefore, today there is a greater need for more information and a better understanding about fertility risk(s) associated with cancer treatment and the available fertility preservation options.
Mike Neal, One Fertility, Comments on: Fertility risk discussion in young patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer
The retrospective chart review of 59 cancer patients by Kumar and colleagues found that the discussion about fertility preservation for patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer was occurring infrequently for newly diagnosed patients. This highlights an important void in the general discussion about the cancer treatment side effects and more specifically how it relates to the individual’s fertility.
Quality of life issues are very important in this cohort of patients. While the first priority is to save the life of the patient it is well known that the hope of being able to have their own biological children in the future is a positive influence for cancer patients. Moreover, it has been acknowledged that truly informed consent about cancer treatment must include the potential impact on the individual’s future fertility. Advances in cancer treatment have been parallel to improvements in the field of assisted conception. As a result, these two disciplines are intersecting to be able to provide complimentary treatment and options related to fertility preservation. Therefore, it is helpful for oncologists to team up with fertility specialists to increase the awareness about fertility preservation opportunities for cancer patients.
Read the article in the Current Oncology Journal by A. Kumar , BESc MD, A. Merali, BPharm MD, G.R. Pond , PhD, K. Zbuk, MD
Read Sarah Isenberg’s Personal Story here.
Scientific Director, ONE Fertility, Burlington, Ontario, Canada (www.onefertility.com)
Michael Neal completed his Masters Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph, focusing on the reproductive consequences of chromosome abnormalities. He is in the final stages of completing a PhD in the Medical Sciences program in the Reproductive Biology Division at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
Mike’s experience in clinical Assisted Reproductive Technologies and his keen research interests have gained him an international reputation for innovation and excellence. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and is a frequent reviewer for many major scientific journals related to reproduction. As Scientific Director of ONE Fertility he has been an advocate of fertility preservation for patients facing a cancer diagnosis. Mike sits on the advisory board for Fertile Future (fertilefuture.ca), a non-profit organization providing information and resources about fertility preservation for cancer patients.