News You Can Use A monthly newsletter from the Cancer Learning Center September 2010 – Issue 62 Fertility and Cancer
For many people, becoming a parent is a major life goal. Cancer may threaten or delay that choice. Te good news is that most cancer survivors can still choose parenthood after they complete treatment.
How can cancer affect fertility? Fertility is the ability to produce children. Cancer and its treatment can cause infertility by interfering with necessary physical functions. Sometimes cancer treatment requires surgical removal of key reproductive system parts. Other cancer treatments such as radiation and some types of chemotherapies can cause infertility by killing sperm and egg cells. Te cancer patient’s age, as well as the amount, duration, type, and location of cancer treatment, can all decrease fertility.
What options are available? For many cancer survivors, natural reproduction is possible after treatment. If not, consider an assisted approach such as egg or sperm freezing. In these approaches, before a patient undergoes cancer treatment, some reproductive cells are saved for future use. It is important to discuss this option with a health care provider before treatment begins.
Sperm or egg donation is an option for cancer survivors who cannot use their own cells. Surrogacy or adoption are also possible, but there are legal restrictions. Adoption agencies often collect medical history information, so it is important to
Te Cancer Learning Center
(CLC) is a free resource library on the first floor of
Huntsman Cancer Institute 801-581-6365 1-888-424-2100
CANCER LEARNING CENTER RESOURCES
Most cancer survivors can still choose parenthood after they complete treatment.
use an agency with experience in handling adoptions for cancer survivors.
Is it safe to have a child after cancer? Yes. Research shows that children of cancer survivors have the same rate of birth defects as in the general population. Unless the birth parent has a family history of cancer or an inherited higher cancer risk, cancer rates are also the same as in the general population. Talk with your health care provider about your family cancer history.
Restoring Sexual Intimacy After Prostate Cancer Treatment
We Have Walked In Your Shoes: A Guide to Living with Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer
Video Pilates for Breast Cancer Rehab
To learn more about
fertility concerns related to a cancer diagnosis, call HCI’s Wellness Center: 801-587-4585
Beauty in the Building
This painting, “The Lady with the Flowered Hat Rocking” by Elsa Ulbricht, can be found in Clinic E on the second floor. Art in HCI buildings was donated for patients to enjoy. For more information about donating fine art to HCI, please contact Roni Whittle at 801-587-9315.
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