Each year, 140,000 Americans younger than age 45 are diagnosed with cancer. Treatment of cancer, especially in young people, has been increasingly successful over the past 20 years. Consequently, patients diagnosed with cancer have greater hope not only for successful remission after treatment but also for conceiving after their ordeal. Cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may be profoundly toxic to egg and sperm production. By coordinating activities between two fields of medicine, reproductive medicine and oncology, fertility often can be preserved or fertility treatments can be given even prior to cancer treatment. Counseling of patients about future fertility as soon as the diagnosis of cancer is made is crucial. Testing fertility potential before and after cancer treatment is helpful in assessing the potential for successful pregnancy after remission. Taking steps to minimize the harmful effect of cancer treatment is possible and options should be presented to young cancer patients prior to therapy. Restoring fertility after cancer treatment is often possible. Where reproductive function is severely compromised due to cancer treatment, alternative forms of reproduction are available.
INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma (ICIO) and INTEGRIS Bennett Fertility Institute (BFI) have formed a team to help young cancer patients deal with reproductive issues before, during, and after cancer treatment. If you or an acquaintance are under age 40, recently diagnosed with cancer, and interested in learning about your fertility options, please contact Karen Johnson, RN 405-949-6060 (Bennett Fertility Institute) or Eli Reshef MD or David Kallenberger MD 405-945-4701 for immediate fertility consultation.