Is there even time for someone with cancer to undergo fertility preservation?
You can also read the transcript of the video below.
Ralph Kazer, M.D.
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
When the Fertility Preservation project at Northwestern was first undertaken a number of years ago, one of the key assumptions that we began with was that when a patient was diagnosed with cancer that it would be essential that her treatment, whatever it was, would be started immediately after her diagnosis. It did not occur to us at that time that emergency IVF would commonly be an option for these patients, because to carry out emergency IVF, it is necessary for the patient to delay initiation of her treatment for two to three weeks. What we have discovered since this project began is that, particularly for the common types of cancers that we see: breast cancer, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, almost always, the cancer doctors that are taking care of the patients are comfortable with providing us with those intervals of time so that we can do emergency IVF or egg harvests. We think that this is a very important piece of information that patients, who are facing this dilemma, should have. Often you will have the time to do these kinds of fertility preservation strategies, even though you have a very serious disease.