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Posted by on Jul 23, 2019 in Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated female fertility preservation (FFP) in cancer patients. They found that FFP should be discussed with all women of reproductive age undergoing cancer treatment. 

Some background

Cancer can have many negative effects on patient health. Infertility is a particular concern for younger female patients. Pregnancy rates in cancer survivors are 40% lower than the general population. Many cancer drugs are quite toxic. Some of these drugs are known to reduce fertility. Cancer drugs may lead to premature ovarian insufficiency (POI). POI is a condition where there are less viable eggs. This can make it more difficult to become pregnant.

Female fertility preservation (FFP) is recommended for female cancer patients. There are many FFP strategies. The most well-known strategy is egg harvesting. Many women chose to harvest eggs before undergoing cancer treatment.  The number of patients that avail of FFP is still low. It is unclear if current standards of care (SOC) are adequate for patients with fertility concerns. 

Methods & findings

This study was conducted by fertility and cancer specialists. These experts took part in a a 1-day meeting. They discussed cancer and fertility treatment in female cancer patients. A set of recommendations on SOC was generated. 

Doctors should discuss FFP with female patients at cancer diagnosis. This is especially important to women of reproductive age. Information should be offered in a timely fashion. If a patient is interested in FFP they should be referred to a fertility specialist. All FFP options should be presented before cancer treatment. After completing cancer treatment the patients should return to the fertility specialist. 

The bottom line

The authors concluded that FFP should be discussed with all women of reproductive age in need of or undergoing cancer treatment.  

What’s next?

Each patient will require a tailored approach to FFP or fertility treatment. If you have any concerns regarding fertility please consult with your physician. 

Published By :

Critical reviews in oncology/hematology

Date :

Jun 01, 2019

Original Title :

EUropean REcommendations for female FERtility preservation (EU-REFER): A joint collaboration between oncologists and fertility specialists.

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