Critical Fertility Information Lacking For Women Battling Cancer

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Two-thirds said they would've liked more advice on preserving ability to have children
Two-thirds said they would've liked more advice on preserving ability to have children

HealthDay News — Many young female cancer survivors say they don't receive enough information about preserving their fertility, according to a study published online May 23 in Cancer.

Researchers analyzed the results from an anonymous online survey of 179 women, average age 30, who had completed cancer treatment an average of 5 years earlier. Their fertility status was uncertain – they either wanted children in the future or were undecided. None had undergone or attempted fertility preservation before or after their cancer treatment.

Up to 62% of the women said they had not received enough information about their fertility options, and two-thirds were worried about their ability to have children. Both concerns made it more difficult for women to think about whether to undergo fertility preservation in the future. Two-thirds of the women said they wanted more advice about preserving their fertility and one-third wanted more support in making the decision.

"The potential loss of fertility has been described in the literature as being almost as painful, if not more so, than the cancer diagnosis itself," study leader Catherine Benedict, PhD, of Northwell Health on Long Island, NY, said in a journal news release. "Failure to provide information and address concerns with respect to fertility-related decisions may have lasting consequences for young women who hope to move on from their cancer experience to achieve important life goals such as having children."

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