For many people, bringing another human into the world is one of the most exciting moments in their lives. This occasion brings families together and gives the new parents a fresh outlook on life. As exciting of a time that this is, many are faced with a challenge before even deciding to have a child.
Over 1 million people in the world were diagnosed with cancer last year. For those partaking in treatments, the idea of expanding their family now comes with challenges. Fortunately, doctors around the world have developed methods of fertility preservation. These advancements are helping cancer patients reproduce as naturally as possible.
Women who have been diagnosed with cancer are facing enough challenges in their life. Having to question whether they can still have a child becomes another large concern. Often, the reproductive organs are negatively affected during treatment. Prior to receiving cancer treatments, patients must understand if and how such organs will be affected. If infertility is a possible result of treatment, seeking out fertility preservation becomes a logical next step.
Oncologists offer patients detailed information regarding the harmful effects of treatments. Patients need to know that chemotherapy and radiation treatments attack cells that rapidly divide. Not all these cells are unhealthy and cancerous; Infertility occurs because the treatments are unable to recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy dividing cells. Unfortunately, sperm and eggs are both healthy dividing cells. Thus, these cells become damaged during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Fertility preservation uses various techniques to save as many functions from the reproductive organs as possible. I will be outlining such techniques in a later blog. Most of the techniques use cryopreservation, more commonly known as “freezing.” Such a process diminishes any potentially harmful effects on the biological construct.
As developments in fertility preservation continue on a daily basis, cancer patients should continue to hold on to hope. Although the technique is new in the medical profession, solid advancements have already occurred. Continue checking back to this blog for updates and detailed information about fertility preservation!