Addressing Gynecologic Concerns in Young Cancer Patients
(HealthDay News) — Young cancer patients and survivors may have gynecologic concerns, which should be managed before, during, and after treatment, according to a Committee Opinion published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Researchers from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Adolescent Health Care have updated gynecologists regarding the adverse effect of specific cancer treatments on reproductive health. Noting that advancements in treatments have dramatically improved childhood cancer survival, they discuss the management of gynecologic issues in young cancer patients and survivors.
The researchers note that cancer and its treatments may have an immediate or delayed impact on ovarian function and reproductive health. In young cancer patients and survivors, gynecologists should be prepared to manage gynecologic concerns before, during, and after treatment. Specific gynecologic issues include pubertal concerns; heavy menstrual bleeding and anemia; sexuality; conception; ovarian function and fertility preservation; and screening for breast and cervical cancer. The field of fertility preservation is evolving rapidly and in order to explore the full range of options, referral to a reproductive endocrinologist is recommended.
"Gynecologists should be aware that childhood cancer treatments may have significant effects on ovarian function and reproductive health," the authors write. "Special consideration should be given to optimize fertility potential."