Web-based survey of fertility issues in young women with breast cancer
ABSTRACT Young women with breast cancer often seek advice about whether treatment will affect their fertility. We sought to gain a better understanding of women's attitudes about fertility and how these concerns affect decision making.
We developed a survey about fertility issues for young women with a history of early-stage breast cancer. The survey was e-mailed to all registered Young Survival Coalition survivor members (N = 1,702). E-mail reminders were used.
Six hundred fifty-seven eligible respondents completed the survey. Mean age at breast cancer diagnosis was 32.9 years; mean current age was 35.8 years. Ninety percent of women were white; 62% were married; 76% were college graduates. Stages at diagnosis were as follows: 0, 10%; I, 27%; II, 47%; III, 13%. Sixty-two percent of women were within 2 years of diagnosis. Fifty-seven percent recalled substantial concern at diagnosis about becoming infertile with treatment. In multivariate logistic regression, greater concern about infertility was associated with wish for children/more children (odds ratio [OR], 120; P < .0001), number of prior pregnancies (OR, 0.78; P = .01), and prior difficulty conceiving (OR, 1.86; P = .08). Twenty-nine percent of women reported that infertility concerns influenced treatment decisions. Seventy-two percent of women reported discussing fertility concerns with their doctors; 51% felt their concerns were addressed adequately. Women seemed to overestimate their risk of becoming postmenopausal with treatment.
Fertility after treatment is a major concern for young women with breast cancer. There is a need to communicate with and educate young patients regarding fertility issues at diagnosis and a need for future research directed at preserving fertility for young breast cancer survivors.
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ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in young women in the USA. Although breast cancer mortality has decreased overall, survival rates in young women remain lower than those in older women. Young women with breast cancer comprise a special population due to the aggressive biology of their tumors as well as their unique psychosocial concerns. Although general treatment principles are similar regardless of age, recent developments from research focused on younger women have provided new insights to guide treatment of this special population. This article will focus on these new developments in areas including endocrine therapy and fertility preservation as well as the unique treatment-related sequelae and psychosocial concerns among young women with breast cancer face.Current Oncology Reports 02/2015; 17(2). DOI:10.1007/s11912-014-0425-x · 2.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and safety of random-start controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for emergency fertility preservation, regardless of the phase of the menstrual cycle. A self-controlled pilot clinical trial (NCT01385332) was performed in an acute-care teaching hospital and in two private reproductive centers in Barcelona, Spain. Eleven egg donors participated in the study. Two random-start gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist protocols were assessed in which ganirelix was initiated on either day 10 (protocol B) or on day 20 (protocol C) of the menstrual cycle and was continued until estradiol levels were below 60 pg/dL. These protocols were compared with a standard protocol (protocol A). The main outcome of interest was the number of metaphase 2 oocytes retrieved. Results from this study show that the number of mature oocytes retrieved was comparable across the different protocols (14.3±4.6 in the standard protocol versus 13.0±9.1 and 13.2±5.2 in protocols B and C, respectively; values expressed as mean ± standard deviation). The mean number of days needed for a GnRH antagonist to lower estradiol levels, as well as the ongoing pregnancy rates, were also similar when protocols B (stimulation in follicular phase) and C (stimulation on luteal phase) were compared with protocol A (standard stimulation). GnRH antagonists can be effectively used for random-start controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with an ovarian response similar to that of standard protocols, and the antagonists appear suitable for emergency fertility preservation in cancer patients.International Journal of Women's Health 01/2015; 7:219-25. DOI:10.2147/IJWH.S66743
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ABSTRACT: Background Each year, approximately 11% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States are 45 years of age or younger. These women have concerns specific to or accentuated by their age, including fertility-related concerns, and have higher rates of psychosocial distress than women diagnosed at older ages. Current guidelines recommend that fertility risks be considered early in all treatment plans; however, the extant research indicates that attention to fertility by the healthcare team is limited. Importantly, attention to fertility may be a proxy for whether or not other important issues warranting attention in younger women with breast cancer are addressed, including genetic risks, psychosocial distress, sexual functioning, and body image concerns. The Young & Strong study tests the efficacy of an intervention designed for young women recently diagnosed with breast cancer and their oncologists with the intention to: 1) increase attention to fertility as an important surrogate for other issues facing young women, 2) educate and support young women and their providers, and 3) reduce psychosocial distress among young women with breast cancer.Methods/DesignThe study employs a cluster randomized design including 14 academic institutions and 40 community sites across the U.S. assigned to either the study intervention arm or contact-time comparison intervention arm. Academic institutions enroll up to 15 patients per site while community sites enroll up to 10 patients. Patient eligibility requirements include: an initial diagnosis of stage I-III invasive breast cancer within three months prior, without a known recurrence or metastatic breast cancer; 18¿45 years of age at diagnosis; ability to read and write in English. The primary outcome is oncologists¿ attention to fertility concerns as determined by medical record review. Secondary outcomes include differences in patient satisfaction with care and psychosocial distress between the two study arms.DiscussionStudy findings will provide valuable insight into how to increase attention to fertility and other issues specific to young women with breast cancer and how to improve doctor-patient communication around these issues, which may promote better quality of care for this population.Trial registration NCT01647607. Registered July 19, 2012.BMC Public Health 01/2015; 15(1):37. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1346-9 · 2.32 Impact Factor