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UCSF study shows greater impact of chemotherapy on fertility
Date:8/25/2011

nses after treatment), early menopause (menopause before 45 years old), and infertility (failed conception).

A total of 1,041 women diagnosed with one of five targeted cancers between the ages of 18 and 40 years old responded, and 620 reported having been treated with only chemotherapy. The five cancer types leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancers were chosen because they are common non-gynecologic cancer groups that can be treated with systemic chemotherapy.

Key findings include:

  • The percentage of women reporting acute ovarian failure was 8 percent, 10 percent, 9 percent and 5 percent for Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast cancer, and gastrointestinal cancers respectively. Acute ovarian failure increased significantly with age at diagnosis.
  • In women without acute ovarian failure, the incidence of infertility increased significantly with age at diagnosis. For instance, the proportion of infertile women with Hodgkin's disease was 18 percent at 20 years old and 57 percent at 35 years old.
  • The estimated probability of early menopause increased significantly with younger age at diagnosis. For example, using age as a predictor of early menopause in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 56 percent of women 20 years old at diagnosis may experience menopause early, compared to 16 percent of those who were 35 years old at diagnosis.

Approximately 120,000 women younger than age 50 develop cancer each year in the United States, according to statistics from the 2006 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER), and several studies show that loss of reproductive potential after cancer treatment can negatively impact quality of life in young survivors.

While 7 percent of women across the United States report 12-month infertility according to the researchers, the rates of infertility in young cancer patients are unknown.

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Contact: Karin Rush-Monroe
karin.rush-monroe@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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UCSF study shows greater impact of chemotherapy on fertility
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