Fertility preservation for breast cancer patients

pensive woman

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that breast cancer patients, under the age of 40, who chose fertility preservation do not face a significant delay in their cancer treatment. Coordination of medical services is critical, but the extra time needed for fertility preservation had little impact on the initiation of cancer treatment.

Women under 40 who receive a breast cancer diagnosis face a double blow. The cancer requires aggressive treatment which can often lead to early menopause and infertility. Not only does the woman need to treat the cancer, but also take steps to protect her fertility and ability to give birth should she want to. It can be an overwhelming and potentially devastating set of circumstances. Can such a woman afford to delay cancer treatment in order to save her eggs? The answer is yes.

“The burden of facing premature menopause adds to the stress experienced by young cancer survivors,” explained Irene Wapnit, MD, department of surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine. “Fertility preservation through cryopreservation of eggs or fertilized oocytes may be an important measure to offset these concerns and promote emotional well-being. Our study shows that these procedures, when expedited and appropriately times, do not delay cancer treatment.”

“Easy access and good communication among surgeons, medical oncologists and reproductive endocrinologists is critical,” said Lynn Westphal, MD department of obstetrics and gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Source: Sally Garneski, Weber Shandwick Worldwide


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