Article

The Unique Reproductive Concerns of Young Women with Breast Cancer

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.01). 01/2012; 732:77-87. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2492-1_6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT I am a 35 year old woman whose boyfriend found a mass in my breast two months ago. A biopsy showed it was breast cancer, and I was ultimately recommended to undergo chemotherapy and tamoxifen in addition to surgery. I told them I would very much like to be able to have children in the future, so my oncologist said I should consider embryo cryopreservation, as my likelihood of being able to conceive naturally after chemotherapy and at age 40, when the tamoxifen was finished, would not be high. However, she acknowledged that no one is sure whether ovarian stimulation prior to treatment, especially when my cancer was hormone sensitive, is safe. I met with a reproductive endocrinologist later that week, and we went over the pros and cons of fertility preservation options. My boyfriend I discussed it and we decided to move forward with embryo cryopreservation. Because my period had recently finished, I started ovarian stimulation quickly and had eggs harvested, fertilized with my boyfriend's sperm, and frozen less than two weeks later. I started chemotherapy the next day. While I realize there is uncertainty about the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer, knowing that I have taken steps to preserve my fertility is very reassuring to me as I begin my treatment. Diana, Breast Cancer Survivor

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