Oncology Central

Fertility preservation in cancer patients with a poor prognosis: the controversy of posthumous reproduction

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For many cancer patients, dreams of genetically related children may be diminished after cancer treatments, which may compromise patients’ fertility. Systemic chemotherapy or radiation therapy may impact reproductive or endocrine functioning. These treatments may impact future fertility in several ways: gonadal damage; diminished reproductive function such as hormonal regulation; structural damage to organs such as the uterus, reducing the possibility of conception or carrying a pregnancy to term; and diminished erectile functioning that may impact the likelihood of natural conception. For many patients, especially those who desire genetically related children, cancer treatment related infertility may adversely affect quality of life and increase emotional distress [1]. Fertility preservation (FP) may address this concern by offering additional options for future parenting. FP preserves gametes using a range of assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques, such as sperm and embryo cryopreservation.

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