Don’t Delay Breast Cancer Treatment Over Fertility Fears

A number of young women with breast cancer delay or forgo treatment, concerned it may affect their fertility. But several options are available that can help. Maskot/Getty Images

For many young women with a diagnosis of breast cancer, deciding which treatments to pursue can be a complicated process.

new study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute finds that a number of young women with breast cancer delay or forgo hormone-blocking therapy due to concerns about how the cancer treatment might affect their fertility. 

The findings, which published April 22 in the journal Cancer, highlight the need for people with breast cancer to address their fertility concerns with their physicians, who can provide treatment options that meet their family-planning goals. 

Those in this situation who want to prioritize their fertility along with their health and survival face two traumas at once, said Dr. David Seifer, a reproductive endocrinologist at Yale Medicine Fertility Center and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.

But there are options to protect fertility.

“The sooner they receive clear information about their own biology and their own reproductive situation, the more likely it is they can realize the options and the potential of fulfilling their hope of becoming a mother,” Seifer said. (Read more…)