SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • cancer survivorship;
  • fertility preservation;
  • patient-physician communication;
  • preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Young women diagnosed with cancer have the option of preserving their fertility by using assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques prior to undergoing cancer treatment. This article presents a composite case of a young woman with cancer who had many unanswered emotional and ethical questions about her future as a parent. Fertility preservation techniques, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and related patient education are described. Current literature regarding reproductive counseling for cancer survivors is reviewed. Resources for providing psychosocial support for decisions about fertility preservation are lagging behind the rapid pace of scientific advancements in cancer treatment and ART. As more young women are surviving cancer and taking steps to preserve fertility, there is great need for the provision of psychologic support services and the establishment of ethical guidelines to aid them on this path. Women's health care providers can provide support to cancer survivors facing fertility and parenting issues by becoming knowledgeable about the long-term aspects of decision making and developing educational materials and guidelines for these patients.