Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy in women, and its incidence rises dramatically during the reproductive years. Based on the most recent anti-cancer molecular targeting medications, successful therapies contribute to disease healing, particularly in young patients, thereby reviving their motherhood programs. However, more than one-third of patients experience early ovarian follicular reserve depletion due to breast cancer treatment, causing permanent infertility.
Infertility caused by cancer is a problem for younger cancer survivors, who make up a significantly smaller fraction of total cancer survivors. However, the emotional toll of not being able to have a child after cancer can be devastating.
Advances in the understanding of how cancer therapies can affect fertility and innovative procedures to preserve fertility give hope to patients who haven’t finished their childbearing at the time of their cancer diagnosis.
Premature ovarian failure and infertility are common side effects of breast cancer treatment. Natural cycle IVF (NCIVF) has been used to preserve fertility and treat infertility in breast cancer patients since elevated estrogen levels are possibly hazardous.
For newly diagnosed young breast cancer patients, ovarian stimulation followed by IVF is a crucial fertility preservation technique; controlled ovarian stimulation procedures have recently advanced, providing practical solutions to some of the issues that breast cancer patients face.
Here in Cyprus IVF Hospital, we offer egg freezing and embryo freezing to help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
- Silvestris, E., Dellino, M., Cafforio, P. et al. Breast cancer: an update on treatment-related infertility. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 146, 647–657 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-020-03136-7
- Shapira, M., Raanani, H. & Meirow, D. IVF for fertility preservation in breast cancer patients—efficacy and safety issues. J Assist Reprod Genet 32, 1171–1178 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10815-015-0519-x
- K. Oktay, E. Buyuk, O. Davis, I. Yermakova, L. Veeck, Z. Rosenwaks, Fertility preservation in breast cancer patients: IVF and embryo cryopreservation after ovarian stimulation with tamoxifen, Human Reproduction 18(1), 90 -95, (2003). https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deg045
- Leslie R. Schover, Marleen van der Kaaij, Eleonora van Dorst, Carien Creutzberg, Eric Huyghe, Cecilie E. Kiserud. Sexual dysfunction and infertility as late effects of cancer treatment. European Journal of Cancer Supplements, 12(1), 41-53 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcsup.2014.03.004.