Today, young adult survivors of cancer and other serious diseases are looking forward to a future of long term survival due to improved treatments. However, many of the therapies that have so effectively helped increase survival have side effects that may cause the loss of fertility. New reproductive technologies are providing possibilities for preserving fertility in cancer survivors, yet many patients are unaware of these options.
The key to building awareness, and improved care outcomes, lies in educating clinicians and scientists in a number of fields. The division conducts Oncofertility Virtual Grand Rounds and a multi-disciplinary conference bringing together leaders in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; Urology; Hematology/Oncology; Pediatrics; Surgical Oncology; as well as scientists, psychologists, and ethicists. Continuing Medical Education courses are frequently offered in-person and on-line for oncology physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers.
Research efforts are directed towards a number of goals, primarily:
- Increasing the pace and quality of ovarian research
- Developing new fertility preservation treatments and investigating compounds that may protect against fertility loss during treatment
- Speeding the translation of research findings to improved patient care
In most cases, decisions on fertility preservation need to be made before treatment begins. Reproductive specialists and social workers are working with Cancer Center physicians to assist patients explore the issues surrounding fertility preservation. Your treatment team can help you understand the options available, assess risks and eligibility, and provide referrals to individuals who are experts in this field.
Learn more about fertility preservation patient services via the Patient Care page.
Teresa K Woodruff, PhD
Reproductive Science in Medicine
Contact Alexa Karczmar for more information about the Division of Reproductive Science in Medicine.