Discussing fertility with AYAs diagnosed with cancer
Sterility, infertility or subfertility is a significant and distressing consequence of treatment for many young people diagnosed with cancer. There is clear evidence that young people with cancer are concerned about the potential impact of their cancer diagnosis and treatment on their future fertility.
Health professionals working with AYA cancer patients should be aware of the risk to future fertility of cancer treatments and ensure patients are informed of their options for protecting or preserving their fertility before treatment begins.
In some centres, the practice of discussing the risk of infertility with AYAs diagnosed with cancer and referring them for assisted reproductive assessment is routine. However, many young people report feeling that:
- they were not, or were inadequately, advised of the risk or their options for preserving fertility.
- the decision about whether to pursue fertility preservation or not was made for them
- they were not given enough time to discuss concerns
- they did not fully understand the ramifications of the decision.
This section includes advice about discussing fertility with AYAs diagnosed with cancer to maximise their awareness and understanding of their options and optimise future fertility outcomes.
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