Cancer and Medical Patients
Young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer or lymphoma cancer may fear losing their ability to one day have children. Although chemotherapy and radiation can be life saving, they may also cause difficulties later when attempting pregnancy.
Young women can freeze their eggs to avoid damage to their eggs before starting anti-cancer treatments.
How Can Breast Cancer Treatments Affect My Fertility?
It is a fact of life that women are born with a very limited supply of eggs and that egg count and egg quality diminishes drastically with age. Given the already natural process of egg decline, breast cancer treatments can further compromise their ability to have children by decreasing their egg supply with early menopause.
Chemotherapy can hasten premature menopause in some young women. This can happen instantly or a few years after a woman is finished with treatment. Some breast cancer therapy drugs, such as Tamoxifen, must be taken for up to 5 years. If a woman is already in her thirties, she is especially more vulnerable to time as her window to achieve pregnancy is cut short.
Please make sure to speak with your oncologist if you are considering having children after completing your cancer treatments. It is important to understand your fertility risks associated with your specific anti-cancer treatment plan.
For most young women, it is definitely worthwhile to consult with a fertility and egg freezing specialist, such as Dr. David Diaz, before starting cancer therapy. We work with many associations to help you with the cost of egg freezing.