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Preconception and the Young Cancer Survivor

Maternal and Child Health Journal
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1007/s10995-006-0103-1
  • Original Paper
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Matern Child Health J (2006) 10:S165–S168 DOI 10.1007/s10995-006-0103-1 ORIGINAL PAPER Preconception and the Young Cancer Survivor Margo C. Grady, M.S., C.G.C. Received: 21 November 2005 / Accepted: 20 April 2006 / Published online: 9 June 2006 C© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006 Keywords Preconception . Fertility preservation . Ovarian failure . Pregnancy after cancer Introduction While the diagnosis of cancer is not common in young men and women, cancer survivors younger than 40 are likely to be very concerned about the impact of their cancer on future fertility, their risk of cancer recurrence after treatment and risks to future offspring. It is estimated that 1 in 900 persons between 16 and 44 are cancer survivors [1], and that there are at least 250,000 women age 40 and younger who are breast cancer survivors in the United States. As cancer survival increases, the focus on quality of life issues increases. When questioned, at least 73% of young breast cancer survivors reported concerns about infertility due to cancer treatment, and 29% reported that this concern impacted their choice of cancer treatment [2]. Premature ovarian failure In women, the options for preserving fertility and risk of ovarian failure depends on the age at the time the cancer is treated, the type and location of cancer, and the specific treatment chosen. Some treatments, such as bone marrow transplantation (BMT) are accompanied by very high rates (>99%) of ovarian failure [3]. Even for those women who resume normal menstruation after chemotherapy, premature ovarian failure (POF) is not uncommon [4], and the risk of M. C. Grady, (�) Meriter Hospital, 202 S. Park St., Madison, WI 53715 e-mail: [email protected] premature ovarian failure is 8-fold higher in cancer survivors [5]. The risk of POF increases with the woman’s age, with less than 20% of women under 30 years experiencing POF, whereas most women older than 40 will become menopausal after chemotherapy [6]. POF and menop

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