Nearly half of young adult survivors of adolescent cancers-more young men than women-report uncertainty about their fertility, according to the results of a new study. While females were more likely to describe feeling distressed and overwhelmed and tended to worry more about pregnancy-related health risks and cancer recurrence, both sexes had concerns about genetic risk factors and how infertility might impact their future lives, as described in the study published in Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (JAYAO).
In the article "Fertility Issues in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors Catherine Benedict, PhD, Elyse Shuk, and Jennifer Ford, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, evaluated the fertility concerns of 16-24 year olds who had been diagnosed with cancer between 14-18 years of age and were at least 6 months post-treatment. Fertility concerns focused on three main areas: dating and reactions of partners; health risks; and how potential infertility would affect their lives going forward. The researchers discuss strategies for more fully building fertility-related information and support services into survivorship care.
"The paper represents an important aspect of the adolescent and young adult cancer experience and highlights the important gaps in the delivery of care for this patient population" says Editor-in-Chief Leonard S. Sender, MD, University of California, Irvine and CHOC Children's Hospital, Orange, CA. "It is time to improve this care, and fertility preservation is a paramount concern.
Article: Fertility Issues in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors, Benedict Catherine, Shuk Elyse, and Ford Jennifer S., Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, doi:10.1089/jayao..2015.0024, published online 18 November 2015.