News You Can Use A monthly newsletter from the Cancer Learning Center • March 2010 - Issue 56 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 most cancer survivors can still choose parenthood after they complete treatment.
How does cancer affect fertility?
Fertility is the ability to have children. Cancer and its treatment can interfere with reproductive functions. Sometimes cancer treatment requires surgery to remove reproductive organs. Radiation and chemotherapy kill sperm and egg cells. Te patient’s age and other factors of the treatment can also decrease fertility.
Most cancer survivors can still choose parenthood after they complete treatment.
What options are available?
For many cancer survivors, natural reproduction is possible after treatment. If not, a patient can consider egg or sperm freezing. Before treatment begins, reproductive cells are harvested and frozen. Patients need to discuss this with the health-care team before treatment begins.
Sperm or egg donation, surrogacy, and adoption are other options for cancer survivors. Cancer survivors may want to choose an adoption agency that has experience working with other families who have confronted infertility due to cancer treatment.
Is it safe to have a child after cancer?
Yes. Children of cancer survivors have the same rate of healthy births 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.
for current and former patients and their families
Yoga Tuesdays 5 – 6 p.m. Fridays 10 – 11 a.m.
For more information, call the Linda B. and Robert B. Wiggins Wellness Center at 801-587-4585
Questions About Cancer?
Te Cancer Learning Center (CLC) gives you the answers you need— in person, by phone, or by e-mail. Te CLC library has more than 3,000 books, videos, CDs, and audiobooks on a variety of cancer topics that anyone can check out free. Talk one-on- one with trained and caring staff, or send an e-mail for answers to your cancer questions.
Visit the first floor of Huntsman Cancer Institute
Call 1-888-424-2100 toll free Send e-mail to
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday–Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesday Free for everyone
Share Stories with Future Generations
YourStory helps cancer patients, their families, and the public record the tales of their lives.
Trained facilitators operate the equipment and help guide the recording session. The first two hours of recording are free with a small charge for additional sessions.
To make an appointment, call the Wellness Center at 801-587-4585.
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