About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Breast Cancer Patients Ignorant Of Impact Of Treatment On Fertility

by Gopalan on April 21, 2011 at 10:05 AM
Font : A-A+

 Breast Cancer Patients Ignorant Of Impact Of Treatment On Fertility

Many young breast cancer patients seem to be unaware of the impact of cancer treatment on fertility. An Australian survey further showed that the women were also unaware of the possibility of preserving their fertility. Such a situation could lead to confusion and conflict around planning for a family, researchers point out.

In a new study published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology, a University of New South Wales team has, for the first time, measured fertility-related knowledge and intentions in young women with breast cancer.

Advertisement

The study, part of a PhD thesis by Dr Michelle Peate under the supervision of Associate Professor Bettina Meiser and Professors Michael Friedlander and Martha Hickey, focused on 111 young women around Australia aged between 18 and 40 who had not yet completed their families. It found that while most of the women wanted as much information as possible about fertility at the time of diagnosis - including good and bad news - many were unaware of key facts regarding the impact of their cancer treatments on fertility and potential fertility preserving options.

"It's generally accepted knowledge that cancer treatment as a whole can add 10 years to a woman's reproductive age," Dr Peate said.

Most chemotherapy is toxic to the ovaries and destroys a woman's eggs while post chemotherapy most women go onto hormone treatment for up to five years to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. During this time women are advised NOT to become pregnant.
Advertisement

"If a woman is diagnosed in her mid 30s, by the time she has completed her cancer treatment she may be in her 40s. And by that time it may be too late to fall pregnant," Dr Peate said.

"The women we surveyed had relatively low levels of fertility-related knowledge. What's more, there was a link between a lack of knowledge and feelings of conflict and uncertainty about the decisions they should be making."

The increased conflict around decisions was likely to undermine the quality of decision making, the researchers reported.

"The findings suggest that targeted and timely fertility information may reduce this uncertainty about the decision and increase informed choice," Dr Peate said.

Fertility options available to women before and during cancer treatment include storing embryos (IVF) or eggs, storing ovarian tissue, and ovarian suppression. Options that are available after treatment include adoption, third party egg and embryo donation, surrogacy (not widely available in Australia) and the option of waiting to see if fertility returns after treatment.

"Much of the existing research has asked women to look back at their past experiences of a breast cancer diagnosis ... they were not asked at the time of diagnosis and treatment. Although an unmet need for fertility information has been reported, until now it was not known whether this information was truly important at the time when women were making lots of life-changing decisions and dealing with all the emotions of a cancer diagnosis," Dr Peate said.

"That is what we wanted to find out. We asked women about the importance of information about fertility and how much they wanted as they were going through the cancer diagnosis and the treatment. We also looked at their decision-making.

"There are strong arguments, which this research points to, for giving young women fertility related information as part of their cancer treatment to help them make treatment decisions," she said.





Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test  Your Knowledge on Heart
Test Your Knowlege on Genes
Obesity in Teens Make Inroads into Early Atrial Fibrillation
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Women and Cancer Breast Biopsy Pagets disease of the breast Mastitis Cancer and Homeopathy Breast Cancer Facts Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Breasts - Structures and Types 

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug Side Effects Calculator Find a Doctor Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Blood Pressure Calculator Blood - Sugar Chart Diaphragmatic Hernia Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Sanatogen Indian Medical Journals Selfie Addiction Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Breast Cancer Patients Ignorant Of Impact Of Treatment On Fertility Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests