and Fertility Preservation
Health for men and women includes maintaining ones potential
reproductive capacity. In the United States there are
over 1 million cancer survivors who are of reproductive
age. For many, their cancer has been cured with the
advances of chemotherapy and or radiation therapy. However,
these life saving treatments have destroyed their reproductive
capability, leading to complete premature ovarian or
testicular failure or compromise functioning. Through
the advance of modern technology there are means to
preserve fertility, which includes harvesting of eggs
with or without fertilization, freezing semen, or freezing
ovarian or testicular tissue prior to undergoing life
Today magazine is most interested being an educational
resource for those facing cancer during their reproductive
years. There are many wonderful organizations that are
serving as resources for patients anticipating or going
through cancer treatment. Please visit our resource
page and link directly to a few of these organizations.
One such organization, FertileHope is the first of its
kind. It is an organization that is dedicated to the
issues of fertility in cancer patients.
Hope for Cancer Survivors
By Lindsay Nohr Beck, Founder and Executive Director
of Fertile Hope
As a two-time, tongue cancer survivor by the age of
24, I personally experienced a profound void in the
care for young cancer patients & infertility. My
treatment regime included radiation, surgery and chemotherapy
IV a chemotherapy agent that presented the risk of permanent
infertility and premature ovarian failure; however,
in 2000 information on my risks and options was not
uncovering my risks and desperately searching for a
way to preserve my fertility, I finally found a center
with an experimental egg freezing protocol for cancer
patients, Stanford Medical Center. Two weeks later,
I had 29 eggs frozen and stored safely for future use
and started my cancer treatments as scheduled.
experience exposed a problem and I founded Fertile Hope
as the solution,bridging the gap between oncology and
reproductive endocrinology. Fertile Hope is a national
nonprofit organization partnered with the Lance Armstrong
Foundation to provide reproductive information, support
and hope to cancer patients whose medical treatments
present the risk of infertility.
10% of the more than 10 million cancer survivors in
the US today were diagnosed in their reproductive years
and potentially at risk for permanent sterility from
their treatments. Moreover, every year there are more
than 120,000 new cancer patients diagnosed while in
their reproductive years and also at risk.
to 90% of men and women diagnosed with cancer in their
reproductive years may be at risk of permanent infertility
due to treatments like chemotherapy, radiation and surgery,
yet the majority of patients are not informed about
their fertility risks and fertility preservation options.
Fertile Hope has made great strides since its inception
in 2001, thousands of patients today need access to
the information and tools Fertile Hope is providing.
These numbers have to change so that survivors have
no limits on life after cancer.
Hope's efforts to improve cancer survivorship have been
overwhelming successful. We have developed and distributed
thousands of free educational brochures, answered thousands
of phone calls and e-mails, and presented at countless
symposiums. A few of our resources include:
Hope has a portfolio of several brochures that offer
a comprehensive overview of definitions, risks, treatment
options, sample questions to ask your medical team,
and current research on the safety of pregnancy and
children after cancer. Our brochure topics currently
include the following, and will be expanding in the
Cancer & Fertility
Breast Cancer & Fertility
Childhood Cancer & Fertility: A Guide for Parents
Cancer & Fertility: A Guide for Young Adults
parenthood options are available before and after cancer
treatments and these brochures are a key tool in empowering
patients with the information they need to make educated
& Fertility Resource Guide
to numerous supporters, Fertile Hope developed a Cancer
& Fertility Resource Guide as a tool to help oncology
healthcare professionals, patients and survivors locate
fertility experts, adoption and surrogacy agencies,
mental health professionals and other valuable contacts
that can help cancer survivors become parents.
site:: www.fertilehope.org- Fertile Hope's Web site
offers a unique tool that outlines the risks that treatments
like chemotherapy, radiation and surgery present to
the reproductive system. It also provides an overview
of fertility preservation and parenthood options before,
during and after cancer treatments, allowing you to
compare options by age, time required, average success
rates and cost. All of our other resources are also
available to download or order for free on our Web site.
Hope recently launched the first national fertility
preservation financial assistance program for cancer
patients. Through product donations and discounted services,
the programs increases access to egg, embryo and sperm
freezing for cancer patients. Faced with limited resources
in the tight time frame between a cancer diagnosis and
its associated treatments, fertility preservation is
often an option only for the wealthy.
we make great strides in the categories of awareness
and education, Fertile Hope is also building a model
to help advance fertility preservation research and
fundraising for a patient-to-patient support programs.
Recently married, my husband and I are grateful to have
family building options, including my frozen eggs. Accordingly,
Fertile Hope is dedicated to creating tools that help
young survivors fulfill their parenthood dreams.
more information, make a donation or to learn how you
can participate, please visit
or call (888) 994-HOPE.