The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) and Livestrong Foundation have launched a video on YouTube to promote discussion of fertility preservation in young cancer patients.
ASCO notes that fertility preservation “is one of the most underprescribed and least implemented services for adolescent and young adult patients with cancer. There is a need to raise the awareness among cancer caregivers of issues relating to the effects of cancer treatment on fertility, and encourage proactive address of these issues with patients before initiation of anticancer therapy.”
While aimed at health care professionals, the video is also a must view for male and female adolescent and young cancer patients. It presents a number of fertility preservation options and resources that are available.
The video noted that discussion of fertility preservation is often overlooked by oncologists in initial evaluations, a practice that needs to be improved. “Many practices are currently falling short,” the video said, noting that a survey showed that less than one-third of young cancer patients received information about fertility preservation.
Among the options for fertility preservation are embryo cryopreservation, oocyte cryopreservation and ovarian transposition. Information on these techniques can be found on ASCO’s website www.cancer.net.
Embryo cryopreservation is generally performed as a component of in vitro fertilization. The main techniques used for embryo cryopreservation are vitribication and slow programmable freezing.
Oocyte crypreservation, or egg freezing, offers women with cancer the chance to preserve their eggs so that they can have children in the future.
Ovarian transposition is a surgical maneuver used to protect ovarian function.