Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Who Told You Cancer Treatments Might Cause Infertility? Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Tells All Patients...

Every year 140,000 new patients are diagnosed with cancer under the age of 45 and our goal is to make sure that 100% of them are told if their cancer treatments will cause infertility. Today, we are 400 patients closer to that goal. Fertile Hope runs an amazingly simple, yet effective program to help ensure that all newly diagnosed cancer patients are informed of their fertility risks – Centers of Excellence. How does it work? Check out the application – in brief, we simply award cancer centers for doing the right thing. I am thrilled to report that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is now a Fertile Hope Center of Excellence. CHOP sees approximately 400 new patients under the age of 18 every year and now has systems in place to make sure that each and every one of them is given information about their fertility risks. How did you find out?


  1. As an oncology nurse, I think this program is a great tactic to build awareness among oncology providers and patients alike related to infertility risks associated with cancer treatment. Who are your target professionals that would pursue such certification for their health system and how has this program been marketed? The recognition of such centers should be attractive to cancer centers, and I bet there are even more benefits than those outlined. I think you should survey participating centers and include their benefits in future marketing campaigns. Great job on putting this together. Fertile Hope has really made remarkable strides in building awareness around infertility risks associated with cancer therapy. Let me know if you want any information posted on imeronline!

  2. When I was diagnosed, I recalled having recently read an online article about the risks that chemo poses to infertility. So I did a lot of research, and when I met with my oncologist for the first time I was the one who brought up the issue. She was supportive of my wanting to freeze eggs, although the delay it ended up causing related to starting chemo didn't thrill her. As to whether my doctor would have informed me of the risks had I not already inquired, I'm going to ask her. She and every other oncologist should follow the CHIP model.

  3. I was diagnosed when I was 18 in 2007 and I asked my oncologist if my fertility would be affected. He said to me that if I really wanted, I could freeze my eggs but he said he didn't think it would be a good idea to wait at least another month until I start treatment. He said there was a good chance I could become infertile but he said my age is a good thing - he said to 'wait and see' - I don't want children for a while yet as I'm only 19 but I am always worrying that I wont be able to have children.