Fertility Preservation in Breast Cancer Patients Can Contribute to Positive Outcomes

Breast Cancer treatment is known to have an effect on the fertility of women. Latest studies show that breast cancer treatments can cause significant effects on the fertility rates and even cause sterility in women. However, Fertility Preservation can contribute to positive outcomes by decreasing the fertility rate and enhancing the breast cancer treatment success.

The study has been conducted by the lead author Anna Marklund and published by the JAMA Network. The study carries a lot of weightage as the long-term reproductive effects of breast cancer have always remained in question. Women suffering from breast cancer might miss on scheduled therapies and medical rounds because of the fear of sterility. This response shows a wide range of diversity considering age, ethnicity and race.

What is Fertility Preservation?

Fertility preservation has become a major factor in deciding the breast cancer treatment options. The possibility of pregnancy is a matter of concern for the whole family. Women from various backgrounds show different levels of priorities for proceeding with the treatment. Fertility preservation involves the storing of ovules for the purpose of having biological children in future. There are various methods involved in this process which usually are opted according to the patient’s choice.

The procedure may include freezing the zygotes or freezing the oocytes and storing them medically for future reference according to the family plans. Women can move with the breast cancer treatments for example radiotherapy and chemotherapy without any worries about the effect on their fertility.

Prevalence of Infertility in Breast Cancer Women

Infertility has been observed in multiple studies conducted in patients of breast cancer. Breast cancer treatments have induced amenorrhea in women in a range of 33% to 76%. This effect has been seen following systemic therapy. The decrease in fertility rates is less likely to occur in patients who have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy but the infertility.

There are women who do not opt for fertility preservation before initiating the cancer treatment. Because of the high prevalence of post treatment infertility in women, fertility preservation has become a major option in order to save the quality of life of the women after this cancer.

What This Study Contributes

The study is a nationwide cohort study conducted in Sweden. The subjects included 425 women who were observed from 1994 to 2015. This group of women have had fertility preservation (FP) before getting the breast cancer treatment.

A population comparator was also set up which did not have any history of FP. The data related to live births, the frequency of the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and relevant mortality rate was retrieved from the population-based registers of Sweden.

Women who went through the fertility preservation procedure had low incidence of infertility and belonged from the younger age group. 71.1% had experienced stillbirth, abortion or miscarriage while the remaining 20.1% remained unaffected from FP. Out of 425 women who experienced FP, 97 had at least one live birth in their lifetime after the Breast Cancer treatment.

The mortality rate also decreased; with 5.3% death incidence in 5 accumulative years in women exposed to FP and 11.1% in women without FP treatment.

The study published in JAMA Network clearly indicated that fertility preservation had increased the positive outcomes of breast cancer therapy in women. In not only supported the family planning of the patient but also decreased their chances of experiencing unpleasant procedures for example, stillbirths or abortions. In the parallel study, the mortality rates were discovered to suffer a significant decrease in the breast cancer patients at the same time.

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