Preserving Your Fertility with a Cancer Diagnosis

What do you need to know about preserving your fertility with a cancer diagnosis? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Melissa Thompson, MBA who was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in September 2015 and is author and namesake of Melissa’s Law for Fertility Preservation. Also interviewed is Dr. Glenn L. Schattman, an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Reproductive Medicine at The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine (CRM) of Weill Cornell Medical College.

Hit the Highlights
  • Melissa Thompson tells us her story of being diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, trying to preserve her fertility, finding out that she owed $12,000, and her advocacy for Mellissa’s Law for Fertility Preservation.
  • What type of cancer treatment renders a patient infertile? For women? For men?
  • What impact on fertility are we seeing with the new immunotherapies treatments for cancer?
  • What are the advantages of the different options for fertility preservation for women? Embryo freezing/banking. Egg freezing/banking. Ovarian tissue preservation.
  • Timing of fertility preservation and cancer treatment. Do you have time to preserve your fertility when you have been newly diagnosed with cancer?
  • With radiation: what options for preserving fertility in women? Shielding and ovarian transposition.
  • Is there increased cancer risk from ovarian stimulation?
  • Is it possible to preserve the uterus for future pregnancy with cervical cancer?
  • What are the fertility preservation options for men?
  • Special issues with children diagnosed with cancer. What options do you have for fertility preservation if the child has not gone through puberty?
  • Insurance coverage for fertility preservation with a cancer diagnosis?
  • Other options for paying for fertility preservation.
  • Safety of pregnancy after surviving cancer? For the patient? For the baby?
  • Can treatments alter the woman’s eggs or man’s sperm to endanger a child conceived yet not render them infertile?

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Image credit: Tom Britt