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By Maya M. Harper, M.A.

Every year, 70,000 adolescents and young adults (AYAs) between the ages of 15-40 are diagnosed with cancer. They may experience this diagnosis as a devastating twist of fate that has the potential for derailing their life from its current track. However, with the changes in...

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Baby rhesus monkey born during Dr. Zelinski's study

Over the past decade, women who are about to undergo sterilizing medical treatments have seen a dramatic increase in the number and success rates of methods to preserve their fertility. Women can now cryopreserve their ovarian tissue, eggs, or ...

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October was established as breast cancer awareness month in 1985 and, since that time, improved screening and treatment significantly improved survival rates. In fact, breast cancer survivors make up the largest group of cancer survivors in North America. After treatment ends, these survivors must...

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The journal, Current Oncology, recently published two articles on opposite ends of the cancer timeline-diagnosis and survival. The first article, "Health care strategies to promote earlier presentation of symptomatic breast cancer: perspectives of women and family physicians,” focuses on the...

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So let’s talk about clinical trials. Has anyone out there ever participated in one or know of someone who has? Have you ever thought about participating in one, but held back because you didn’t have enough information about what it would entail?  A lot of people fall into that category – they want...

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One out of 48 women will develop invasive cancer before age 40. Many young women will survive their cancer treatment and live long lives that include decisions on building a family.   Currently, there is a lack of data on the long-term reproductive outcomes in young women after cancer treatment....

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Last week, the 2011 Oncofertility Consortium Conference: Priorities for Sustainable Oncofertility Research and Patient Care, was held here in Chicago. One of the more than 150 attendees was a University of Pennsylvania medical school student, Katie Dillon, who works with Clarisa Gracia, MD, MSCE on...

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Women and girls who undergo radiation and chemotherapy to treat cancer or other diseases are a significant risk of going into premature menopause and infertility. Menopause and infertility, while related, are not the same thing and it is important to understand the difference. Menopause is the...

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The other day, I was reading a journal article, ”Pan-Canadian initiatives in colorectal cancer screening: adopting knowledge translation tools to accelerate uptake and impact,” on Canadian efforts to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings, when it struck me how similar they are to our efforts...

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More than 80% of female cancer patients survive for at least five years after their diagnosis and many live for decades beyond treatment. However, chemotherapy or pelvic radiation can deplete the eggs within a woman’s ovaries and the young women may survive with partial or complete loss of...

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Every year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) compiles data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others, to inform the public about the estimated cancer statistics for that year. The current year’s assessment had just been released – with...

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Cristina Thomas (top) with her mentors in the Woodruff Lab, Candace Tingen, PhD, and Min Xu, PhD.

Cristina Thomas is like many young students at Northwestern University. She spends her time studying, participating in school activities, and having fun with her friends. In addition to all this, over...

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Many young cancer patients prior to treatment undergo fertility preservation applications that utilize cryopreservation techniques such as egg banking, embryo banking and sperm banking. On July 24th – 27th, the 48th Annual Meeting for the Society of Cryobiology will be held at the LaSells Stewart...

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Miriam Menkin with her husband and son

Last month I attended a lecture presented by Sarah Rodriguez, PhD addressing Miriam Menkin’s role in early in vitro fertilization (IVF) research.  Many people outside the world of reproductive endocrinology know very little about Menkin, if anything at all....

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Young women and men facing cancer treatments are forced to confront not only their cancer diagnosis, but also the potential loss of their fertility. Each individual case and treatment plan may affect fertility differently; however, healthcare providers should inform their patients about fertility...

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Recently I read a piece by Lisa Campo-Engelstein, PhD and Amanda Fleetwood, PhD arguing for the inclusion of low cost assisted reproductive technology (ART) centers in the Global South, a term used for developing countries in academic literature. They reason that ART services give women...

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Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) first came onto the Vatican’s radar in the early 1950s and by 1956 Pope Pius XII, proclaimed artificial reproduction as unlawful in the Catholic Church, because it produced human lives by separating procreation and normal sexual function.  Fast-forward to...

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We often discuss the late effects of cancer treatment, those that become evident after therapy ends, on this blog. One reproductive late effect of treatment is premature menopause, which can be caused by chemotherapy or radiation damage to the ovaries. Even women who continue to have normal periods...

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When I was a teenager and in my 20s, I never thought deeply about having children or becoming a mother. By the time I turned 30, I was very busy with graduate school and work, pushing the idea of children even further back into the recesses of “possibilities” for my future. In fact, the older I got...

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Female cancer patients interested in preserving their fertility prior to treatment may choose from a variety of options including egg banking, embryo banking, or ovarian tissue cryopreservation. While some fertility preservation techniques, such as egg and embryo baking, require a 2 to 3 week delay...

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