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Web Site Helps Cancer Patients With Fertility Preservation

Northwestern consortium's program features message boards, videos and advice

MONDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new Web site to help cancer patients learn more about how they can preserve their ability to have children has been launched by Northwestern University in Chicago.

"It's overwhelming for cancer patients to have to make urgent decisions about fertility preservation at the same time that they are struggling to come to terms with their recent cancer diagnosis and imminent treatment plan. This offers them a critical resource that is easy to use and understand," Web site creator Kemi Jona, a research associate professor in learning sciences and computer sciences at Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy, said in a university news release.

The multi-media Web site,, contains more than 200 expert videos and survivors stories and informs patients about the potential effect of cancer treatments on their fertility, options to preserve their fertility, and how to discuss these issues with their doctors.

Future plans include a message board, so that cancer patients can connect with survivors and post their own personal stories and videos.

"It's a warm and friendly site, because we knew this would be used during an emotionally fragile time. It's an inviting refuge where patients and their families can come and feel they can get information at the level they are ready for," Jona said.

The Web site is an educational project of the national Oncofertility Consortium of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. The consortium is a research, clinical and education program focused on cancer treatment-related fertility problems.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about cancer and fertility.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Sept. 14, 2008

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