Fertility concerns not properly addressed

This article discusses research conducted in Australia but fertility is an issue young adults everywhere face.

At the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, Australian researchers declared concerns regarding fertility amongst young adult cancer patients are not being properly addressed.

Cancer treatment can leave some survivors with a different attitude toward sexual intimacy or with changes in sexual function. Many people are choosing to wait longer to have children and those plans can be thwarted with a cancer diagnosis since treatment can leave people infertile.

They studied 25 survivors and found many people were concerned about fertility, even those who had already had children and didn’t have plans for any more. Younger women may have to experience menopause earlier than expected or have a mastectomy which affects their self-image. Men may feel guilty about not being able to perform or not being able to father children with their partner.

Professor Ian Olver, CEO of Cancer Council Australia, said the presentation highlights a major issue that impacts on the quality of life of people who survive cancer.

“Up to 65 per cent of patients diagnosed with cancer are still alive in five years, and survival is increasing with better treatments. Until recently the emphasis was on treating the cancer but it is being increasingly recognized that a variety of psychosocial problems and late effects of treatment persist and need to be addressed in this population.”


The Medical News