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Cancer and fertility -- young women speak up
Date:1/9/2012

New York / Heidelberg, 9 January 2012 -- Young female cancer survivors are concerned about their future fertility and parenthood options and want better information and guidance early on, according to a new study by Jessica Gorman and her team from the University of California in the US. Their paper, which presents in-depth information on young survivors' experiences navigating decisions about fertility and parenthood, is published online in Springer's Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

Many more adolescents and young adults are surviving their disease, resulting in a substantial and growing number of female cancer survivors of reproductive age. Young cancer survivors are less likely to have biological children than non-cancer survivors, mainly due to the effects of cancer treatments on future fertility. However, many are unaware of the impact of their treatment on their fertility, and understanding these young ladies' concerns is a first step towards developing effective, targeted interventions that will meet the needs of those who want to become parents.

The researchers explored the fertility and parenthood concerns of 22 American female cancer survivors, aged between 18 and 34 years. The young women, recruited from both clinics and community-based outreach projects, took part in focus groups.

The authors identified six themes from the discussions:

  1. A hopeful but worried approach to fertility and parenthood: While participants expressed hope about having a family, many also felt anxious that they would be unable to have their own children.

  2. Frustration with lack of choice or control over fertility: Even though the young women acknowledged that a discussion about fertility at the time of diagnosis would have been overwhelming, they felt strongly that they (or their parents) should have been told about both the impact of treatment on their fertility, and the options available before treatment to preserve
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Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

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