Patient perceptions of reproductive health counseling at the time of cancer diagnosis: a qualitative study of female California cancer survivors.
ABSTRACT We sought to determine what women recall about reproductive health risks (RHR) from cancer therapy at the time of cancer diagnosis in order to identify barriers to reproductive health counseling (RHC) and fertility preservation (FP).
Data were obtained by surveying 1,041 female cancer survivors from the California Cancer Registry. Inclusion criteria included women age 18-40 with a diagnosis of leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, breast or GI cancer diagnosed between 1993 and 2007. Women were asked to respond to an open-ended question: "what did your doctor tell you about how cancer treatment could affect your ability to get pregnant?" Framework analysis was used to identify themes surrounding patient perceptions of RHC.
Of the patients, 51.8 % (361 out of 697) recalled receiving reproductive health counseling and 12.2 % (85 out of 697) recalled receiving FP counseling. Of the patients, 45.3 % (277 out of 612) reported that uncertain prognosis, risk of recurrence or vertical transmission, age, parity, or uncertain desire may have prevented them from receiving timely and essential information on RHRs. Communication barriers included omission of information, failure to disclose RHRs, and presentation of incorrect information on FP.
In a sample of women diagnosed with cancer of reproductive age, almost half did not recall counseling on RHRs and few recalled FP counseling. Communication barriers between physicians and patients regarding fertility may lead to uninformed (reproductive health) RH decisions.
Many women may not receive adequate information about RHRs or FP at the time of cancer diagnosis. Advancements in reproductive technology and emerging organizations that cover financial costs of FP have dramatically changed what options women have to preserve their fertility. Routine and thoughtful RHR and FP counseling, as well as collaborative cancer care will help ensure that women diagnosed with cancer are provided with the services and information they need to make an informed choice about their reproductive future.
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ABSTRACT: Breast cancer patients may have unmet supportive care needs during treatment, including symptom management of treatment-related toxicities, and educational, psychosocial, and spiritual needs. Delivery of supportive care is often a low priority in low- and middle-income settings, and is also dependent on resources available. This consensus statement describes twelve key recommendations for supportive care during treatment in low- and middle-income countries, identified by an expert international panel as part of the 5th Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) Global Summit for Supportive Care, which was held in October 2012, in Vienna, Austria. Panel recommendations are presented in a 4-tier resource-stratified table to illustrate how health systems can provide supportive care services during treatment to breast cancer patients, starting at a basic level of resource allocation and incrementally adding program resources as they become available. These recommendations include: health professional and patient and family education; management of treatment related toxicities, management of treatment-related symptoms of fatigue, insomnia and non-specific pain, and management of psychosocial and spiritual issues related to breast cancer treatment. Establishing supportive care during breast cancer treatment will help ensure that breast cancer patients receive comprehensive care that can help 1) improve adherence to treatment recommendations, 2) manage treatment-related toxicities and other treatment related symptoms, and 3) address the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of breast cancer and breast cancer treatments.The Breast 10/2013; 22(5):593–605. DOI:10.1016/j.breast.2013.07.050 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between patients' decision-making about fertility preservation (FP) and time between cancer diagnosis and FP consultation in young female cancer survivors. This is a pilot survey study of women aged 18-43 years seen for FP consultation between April 2009 and December 2010. Among 52 women who completed the survey, 15 (29 %) had their FP consultation more than 2 weeks after their cancer diagnosis (late referral group) and 37 (71 %) were within 2 weeks of their cancer diagnosis (early referral group). In univariate analysis, the only difference between the late referral and early referral groups was a higher decisional conflict scale (DCS) in late referral group (p = 0.04). In multivariable analysis, late referral group was more likely to have high DCS (>35) compared to early referral group (odds ratio 4.8, 95 % confidence interval 1.5, 21.6) after adjusting for age, center, and type of cancer. Early referral to a fertility specialist can help patients make better decision about FP. This is the first study to suggest that early referral is important in patients' decision-making process about FP treatment. Our finding supports the benefit of early referral in patients who are interested in FP which is consistent with prior studies about FP referral patterns.Supportive Care Cancer 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00520-014-2526-3 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Invasive breast cancer (BC) is the most frequent cancer of young women. Considering the trend toward postponing childbearing until the later reproductive years, the number of childless women at diagnosis of BC will continue to increase. The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine have recommended that the impact of cancer treatments on fertility should be addressed with all cancer patients of reproductive age and that options for fertility preservation, such as cryopreservation of embryos and oocytes, ovarian tissue, in vitro maturation of immature oocytes, and ovarian suppression with gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs, should be discussed routinely. To optimally counsel patients on how to best weigh the risks and benefits of fertility preservation, both the health care provider and the patient must know about the options, their risks, and their likelihood of success. The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge on fertility preservation options for young BC patients, surrogates of ovarian function, psychosocial aspects of infertility after cancer treatment, women's attitudes towards childbearing after cancer treatment, and health care providers' attitudes towards fertility preservation.Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy 07/2014; 6:93-101. DOI:10.2147/BCTT.S47234