Due to recent advances in oncology, the diagnosis and treatment of several types of cancer have drastically improved, leading to increases in survival rates through the years. With these advances, more patients are living longer, more productive lives with cancer, and are oftentimes in remission. Although the prognosis for patients with cancer is positive, physicians currently face new challenges in treating younger patients with cancer who wish to maintain the ability to have children later in life.
Until now, not much thought had been given to being able to have children once cancer treatment is completed and the cancer is in remission. For example, in female patients with cancer, freezing a woman’s eggs, or embryos created with sperm from her partner or an anonymous donor allows her the chance to have a genetic child in the future. For male patients, sperm banking and cryopreservation is a highly successful option.
Physicians making a cancer diagnosis are beginning to offer their patients fertility preservation options through subspecialty, board certified reproductive and infertility (REI) specialists, such as the Idaho Center for Reproductive Medicine.