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Archive for the ‘fertility preservation and breast cancer’ tag

Balancing Breast Cancer and Fertility Preservation

By Steven Brenner MD

October 9th, 2016 at 5:22 pm

 

Dr. Steven Brenner


A diagnosis of breast cancer is one of the most challenging health issues a person could face.  This diagnosis is even more devastating to the woman who desires to have children the future.  Treatments for the breast cancer may have harmful effects on the woman’s ability to conceive by adversely affecting the health of her eggs.  In addition, the hormonal treatments frequently used to help an individual conceive have the potential to worsen the breast cancer.

There is often turmoil surrounding the diagnosis of breast cancer.  The individual, her family and physicians are appropriately focused on getting rapid effective treatment and survival.  The issue of fertility may not be thought of until a chemotherapeutic plan is just about to start or has already been initiated.

Since there are fertility preserving options for the individuals facing breast cancer treatment, these options should be considered.  If time allows eggs or embryos may be frozen for future use.  The use of such procedures depends on many factors, primarily, will such treatment have a negative effect on the woman’s disease.  If in the patient’s and oncologist’s judgment fertility preservation is an option it should occur rapidly to allow for the timely treatment of the breast cancer.

The key is for the oncologist and patient to be aware and discuss the potential for fertility conservation treatment prior to the start of chemotherapy.  This opportunity for discussion may be lost in the unrest that surrounds the diagnosis.  Breast cancer awareness month, October, 2016, creates a platform to raise these issues and help both individuals and health care providers come more cognizant of available treatments and the importance of timing these treatments to maximize future fertility.

Long Island IVF offers women facing cancer the fertility preservation options of elective embryo- or egg-freezing prior to undergoing chemotherapy. This enables the woman to safeguard some of her eggs from the adverse effects of chemotherapy by retrieving and freezing them before she begins her cancer treatment. Her frozen eggs or embryos will be there for her use in family-building once her cancer battle is behind her. For more information, please contact our office at 877-838-BABY.

 

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Would you consider fertility preservation or mention the option to a friend facing a cancer diagnosis?

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Tracey Minella

October 3rd, 2014 at 6:01 pm

 

 

image: wpcliptart.com


Those desperate to have a baby may feel that nothing is more devastating than suffering from infertility. But if anything can trump infertility on the list of unfair hands dealt, it would most certainly be cancer.

So, in the spirit of raising breast cancer awareness this month, there are two important messages to share.

First, is to echo the bandwagon message about staying current with preventative measures like vigilant, routine breast self-exams between equally-vigilant annual exams at the gynecologist’s office. Also keep current with your annual mammogram. If you are still walking around with that tattered mammogram prescription in your bag, pick up the phone today and schedule that appointment. Go on, now.

This is particularly true for infertility patients who have understandably had enough of daily paper gowns and stirrups, and mistakenly assume that the constant medical “activity” down there takes the place of a GYN exam. The stirrups at the RE’s office are not the same as those at the GYN’s office. Staying current with your pap, mammo, and other GYN matters is especially important when trying to conceive. The last thing you want is to find yourself finally pregnant and then facing what might have been a preventable GYN issue.

The second message is spread awareness of fertility preservation to those facing a cancer diagnosis. Men and women, and teens, too. Fertility preservation through egg/sperm/or embryo freezing… when done prior to certain cancer treatments that may impair future fertility… is an important but often over-looked part of the cancer patient’s experience.

Understandably, newly-diagnosed cancer patients (breast or otherwise) are grappling with so much and are focused on saving their lives. When the patient is only a teen, the last thing worried parents may think of is the child’s future fertility. But fertility preservation must be considered early in the treatment plan.

Here’s how you can help others. If your friends or family are diagnosed with cancer during fertile years (including young teens), gently and quickly remind them to ask their doctor if the cancer treatment being recommended will affect or destroy their fertility and, if so, whether fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment is an option.  (Yes, it may be uncomfortable treading in such a personal area, but they will thank you when they can think clearly.) Fertility preservation can usually be done very quickly and the cancer treatment may be able to accommodate it. That way, when the cancer battle is won, the survivor will have more options when they’re ready to move forward with any family-building plans.

Fertility preservation offers a great window of opportunity for many cancer patients, but it sadly is not open indefinitely. Sharing this information may be the difference between a cancer survivor being able to have his or her own genetic offspring one day…or not.

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Did you know that fertility preservation was an option for cancer patients?

LONG ISLAND IVF was nominated BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. If you’d like to vote to help us win, you can vote once per day from now through Dec 15 in the Health and Wellness category, here: http://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/

 

Photo credit: public domain image provided courtesy of wpclipart.com

http://www.wpclipart.com/medical/breast_cancer_awareness/breast_cancer_ribbon_black_bg.png.html

 

 

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