Could I pass cancer on to my future child?
As a cancer survivor, the possibility of passing cancer onto your child may be worrisome, and perhaps no one has directly addressed your concerns.
It is important to realize that most types of cancers occur spontaneously; that is, they are not inherited but are caused by genetic mutations that occur within each individual.
In a small percentage of cancer cases, a gene mutation associated with the cancer can be passed on to the next generation. The best example of this is a patient who has mutations in the BRCA gene that increase her risk of developing breast cancer.
If you know that you have a gene associated with cancer that can be passed on to your children, make sure that your oncologist and fertility specialist knows about it. If you decide to undergo embryo banking, it may be possible to select embryos for freezing that do not carry the gene, so that it is not passed on to your future children.