Fertility Preservation Options Prior to Cancer Treatment

Egg Freezing

Tremendous advances in A.R.T. (assisted reproductive technologies) now make egg freezing an excellent fertility preservation option for cancer patients. In 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) took the “experimental” label off of egg freezing for cancer patients and in May 2013 the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) made counseling on fertility preservation for women of reproductive age part of their “standard of care” and outlined the following in their revised guidelines:

Fertility Preservation in Patients with Cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology Guideline Update

“As part of education and informed consent before cancer therapy, health care providers (including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, urologists, hematologists, pediatric oncologists, and surgeons) should address the possibility of infertility with patients treated during their reproductive years (or with parents or guardians of children) and be prepared to discuss fertility preservation options and/or to refer all potential patients to appropriate reproductive specialists. Although patients may be focused initially on their cancer diagnosis, the Update Panel encourages providers to advise patients regarding potential threats to fertility as early as possible in the treatment process so as to allow for the widest array of options for fertility preservation. The discussion should be documented. Sperm and embryo cryopreservation as well as oocyte cryopreservation are considered standard practice and are widely available.”

Published online before print May 28, 2013, doi: 10.1200/JCO.2013.49.2678
Alison W. Loren, Pamela B. Mangu, Lindsay Nohr Beck, Lawrence Brennan, Anthony J. Magdalinski,
Ann H. Partridge, Gwendolyn Quinn, W. Hamish Wallace and Kutluk Oktay

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