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Don't just save her life, save her fertility
Date:9/6/2007

participating centers around the country. This network will provide patients with local alternatives for fertility preservation and promote physician collaboration to provide a full menu of options to patients undergoing cancer treatment. Northwestern's program will serve as a template for other participating medical centers around the country.

Currently, the options for women to save their fertility are limited. One is emergency in vitro fertilization, which requires a sperm donor in order to fertilize the egg to create an embryo. Another option is freezing a mature egg. Both procedures require time and hormone induction. Neither of these options is available to children, who do not yet have mature eggs.

The Fertility Preservation Patient Navigator

The thought of being sterile was almost as devastating as my cancer diagnosis itself, says Lindsay Nohr Beck, founder and executive director of Fertile Hope. In my eyes cancer wasn't permanent; it was a hurdle to clear. Infertility was permanent and something I wasn't sure I could deal with. Facing the risk of infertility from cancer treatments is daunting, but worse is not knowing your risks and options.

When a teenage girl or a woman is diagnosed with cancer, she is swept into the emotional vortex of medical appointments and treatments with a single-minded focus -- saving her life.

Enter Jill Trainer the Fertility Preservation Patient Navigator at the Feinberg School, believed to be the first such position in the nation. Trainer is a reassuring guide as newly diagnosed women or teenage girls begin therapy. Trainer will help the patient sort out the best option to preserve her reproductive health and then will work with the patient's doctors to coordinate the plan. A licensed clinical social worker, Trainer provides emotional support for patients and is the liaison between cancer patients, oncologists and reproductive endocrinologists.

Educating Doctors
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Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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