I have met quite a few parents whose children are cancer survivors. And their journey’s have some major similarities. First, their child was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and literally started chemotherapy the very next day. Secondly, in each instance, the oncologists never discussed the longer term affects that cancer treatments can have on fertility. And third, once the families realized the impact, they wished they had understood this before starting treatment because there are options to help avoid the possibility of losing the ability to have children due to cancer treatments.
Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…
Infertility is often a complication for adolescent and young adults who receive cancer therapy. And while parenthood may not be top-of-mind for many teens or young adults(understandably), the possibility of losing the ability to have children due to cancer treatments is concerning to many families. But there are options….
First, if you know of an adolescent or young adult who has been diagnosed with cancer, let the appropriate people know that this is a topic they should discuss with their doctor. Even if they have already begun treatment, there may still be options for sperm banking or egg freezing.
Second, to get the low down on infertility & cancer, check out Fertile Hope. Fertile Hope helps patients get the information they need to make educated decisions before and after cancer treatments- from understanding their fertility risks to fertility preservation techniques (sperm banking, egg & embryo freezing) to understanding what parenthood options exist after cancer options.
Now these options can very quite expensive. Fertile Hope also assists patients financially in these endeavors through their Sharing Hope Financial Assistance Program. Additionally, through their website, you can access link for information on adoption assistance, insurance coverage and other programs that can provide assistance with fertility treatments. Fertile Hope is a GREAT resource to help navigate the fertility aspect of cancer. Check it out….