Saving fertility after cancer
Over 22 thousand women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and nearly two-thirds of those women will die from it. Those who survive face fertility issues. But there are some things women can do to save their fertility.
The organs that are most important for a healthy pregnancy are the ones that ovarian cancer attacks. So what can a woman do?
Iris Romero, MD, OB/GYN, University of Chicago says, “There’s actually a lot of more options available for women now than there was in the past.”
Women can not only have their eggs frozen, but also ovarian tissue. Surgeons can transplant the tissue after cancer treatment. Other things women can do include targeted therapy that protects the ovaries, medication that suppresses ovarian function during treatment and fertility-preserving surgery. Another thing …
“I think the most critical step a woman can take is to have a long standing and trusting relationship with her gynecologist,” continued Dr. Romero.
This vital relationship comes in handy when a woman is preparing to have kids and critical when she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Chemo, not kids, is on the mind of oncologists. So look for an advanced care center where there’s a team of cancer doctors and fertility specialists.
“Thinking about this person’s family options when they survive this cancer ten, fifteen years down the road,” Dr. Romero added.
For a woman to become pregnant without reproductive help, she will need only one healthy ovary with enough eggs, one healthy Fallopian tube, a healthy uterus and a good level of specific hormone.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Jamie Koczan, Editor.