Radiation oncologists are discussing infertility risks with young cancer patients
More than 80 percent of radiation oncologists discuss the impact of cancer treatments on fertility with their patients of childbearing age, which can lead to improved quality of life for young cancer patients who are living much longer after their original diagnosis thanks to modern treatment options, according to a study in Practical Radiation Oncology (PRO), the official clinical practice journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
In the past, the clinical focus for young cancer patients was strictly survival. With the success of today's treatment options, these same patients are going into cancer remission and living long, cancer-free lives; this has shifted the clinical focus from strictly survival to survival plus long-term quality of life issues.
A cancer patient's risk for infertility increases after chemotherapy, radiation therapy and sometimes surgery. For the large percentage of cancer patients of reproductive age, this is an important quality of life issue. There have been great advances in the field of fertility preservation, but these options must be considered before cancer treatment begins.
Recent research suggests that less than 50 percent of adult cancer patients of childbearing age receive adequate education about their options before cancer treatments and less than 35 percent of women recall discussing the risks of infertility during or after cancer treatments.
Researchers in this study sought to determine the fertility preservation discussion and referral patterns among oncology specialists (i.e., medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists). Physicians were asked if they always/often, sometimes or rarely/never discussed the impact of cancer treatments on future fertility with their patients.
Radiation oncologists always/often discussed fertility 83 percent of the time and sometimes 17 percent of the time (rarely/never was at zero percent). Medical oncologists discussed fertility options 84 percent of the time and admitted to never discussing it 4 percent of the time. Surgical oncologists always discussed it 51 percent of the time and never discussed it 20 percent of the time.
Despite the wide range in how often each specialty discussed the impact of treatments on fertility, all specialties referred patients for fertility preservation at approximately the same low rate. Radiation oncologists reported always/often referring patients 40 percent of the time, medical oncologists 45 percent and surgical oncologists 46 percent.
"These findings are important particularly for radiation oncologists, who may have a unique role in communicating fertility preservation options to their patients since their patients have daily interaction with staff and weekly treatment exams with the radiation oncology physician and nurse," Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, senior author of the study and an associate member and director of the Survey Methods Core Facility at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., said. "There is a notable opportunity to implement provider education about fertility preservation and to improve quality of life and quality care for patients of reproductive potential."
Provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology
- Breast cancer patients lack adequate fertility preservation advice Nov 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New tool guides doctors to save cancer patients' fertility Feb 26, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Some radiation therapy treatments can decrease fertility Apr 01, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Life beyond cancer: Starting a family following treatment Oct 24, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Post-surgery radiation improves breast cancer survival Aug 31, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) and other non-coding RNAs are small molecules that help control the expression of specific proteins. In recent years they have emerged as disease biomarkers. miRNA profiles have been used ...
Cancer May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Cancer cells spread and grow by avoiding detection and destruction by the immune system. Stimulation of the immune system can help to eliminate cancer cells; however, there are many factors that cause the immune system to ...
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Researchers from London's Kingston University have begun a two-year study which could help prolong the lives of people with colorectal tumours.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Transformative research from Western University has identified new hormones in the body which may suppress breast cancer and stimulate the regression of breast tumors.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Curtin University researchers have found evidence that targeting specific cells in the body can reverse the effects of cancer on the immune system.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 5
(HealthDay)—Animals make great companions for senior citizens, but elderly people who always drive with a pet in the car are far more likely to crash than those who never drive with a pet, researchers have ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0