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Fertility Preservation

A chief concern affecting quality of life among young adult (YA) cancer survivors is fertility. Although discussions regarding the possibility of infertility and methods to decrease the risk are crucial at the time of diagnosis, many YAs don’t remember having adequate discussions regarding these topics before the initiation of their treatment. Embryo cryopreservation in women and sperm cryopreservation in men before cancer therapy remains to be the most effective ways in which fertility is preserved in the YA population. Although female and male gonadal tissue cryopreservation and transplantation remain experimental, such options are explored and continuously researched through programs such as the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University.

Sources: Levine J, Canada A, Stern C. Fertility Preservation in Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer.  J Clin Oncol. 2010; 28:4831-4841.

Bleyer A, Barr R. Cancer in Young Adults 20 to 39 Years of Age: Overview. Semin Oncol. 2009; 36:194-206.

SeventyK Tips 4 Life

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AYA patients are less likely to enroll in clinical trials than children or adults due to inadequate health insurance, lack of referrals and many clinicians don’t know of AYA trials. AYA participation is crucial to finding effective therapies. Many comprehensive cancer centers, university med centers, and pediatric centers- support AYA trials.

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