Breast Cancer and Preserving Fertility

While some women are able to get pregnant naturally after receiving cancer treatment, that is not the case for all women who undergo breast cancer treatment. Men with breast cancer may also have fertility issues. With a breast cancer diagnosis, patients may have to consider their fertility earlier than they may have planned. There are several options for preserving fertility:

  • Freezing embryos and in vitro fertilization
  • Freezing eggs
  • Ovarian tissue freezing

Certain chemotherapy drugs can permanently stop ovaries from producing eggs; however, some chemotherapy drug combinations are less likely to have an impact on fertility than others. Investigators are looking at using hormone treatment to protect ovaries from chemotherapy, which would be done by injecting hormones while undergoing chemotherapy. The goal of this would be to have the hormones stop ovaries from working during treatment, but once treatment is finished, the injections would halt, and the ovaries would begin to work again. More evidence is needed on this topic.

Reference

Preserving fertility and breast cancer. Cancer Research UK. Updated April 13, 2021. Accessed April 27, 2022. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/living-with/preserving-fertility

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