Highlighting the need for fertility preservation during cancer - GulfToday

Highlighting the need for fertility preservation during cancer

Dr. Nadia Najjari.

The percentage of cancer and other cancer survivors has been steadily increasing because of improvements in the cancer treatment techniques utilized in contemporary medicine. Given the rise in the number of patients who want to start families after receiving a cancer diagnosis, it is essential to consider fertility preservation in these patients.

However, because most patients do not discuss their fertility concerns with their doctors, medical professionals might not be aware of the significance of fertility preservation among cancer patients. An early referral to an infertility specialist is the best method to avoid a delay in cancer treatment, considering the time spent selecting and undergoing treatment. Patients should be given enough time to make decisions because it is challenging to decide on cancer diagnosis and fertility issues.

After consulting each patient's doctor and weighing the benefits and drawbacks of various options, choosing a good fertility preservation technique is necessary. To facilitate this, early referrals will provide patients with enough time to select a good strategy for fertility preservation.

Cryopreservation of embryos, oocytes, ovarian tissue, sperm and testicle tissue is one option for people with cancer who want to preserve their fertility. Comprehensive research that followed women for more than 20 years found that standard techniques for protecting a woman's fertility before beginning breast cancer therapy are safe for young women.

Dr. Nadia Najjari, M.D, Ph.D., an infertility consultant working at an infertility clinic in Abu Dhabi, added, "this is reassuring evidence about survival after cancer treatment" following fertility preservation and birthing. However, with so many women receiving breast cancer diagnoses each year, "that's potentially beneficial, especially as there's no drawback in terms of survival," said Dr. Nadia.

Dr. Nadia is a well-known German Moroccan specialist in reproductive health. She was raised in Morocco and studied medicine in Germany, where she spent 13 years after University working in various clinics.

After moving to the UAE, where she worked for the past 8 years. She is currently running a campaign to make all doctors aware about this issue. Dr. Nadia believes that when treating breast cancer in young patients, additional age-related concerns must be considered.

According to her, one such issue that must be addressed as soon as possible after the diagnosis is the potential impact of anticancer therapies on gonadal function and reproductive potential. As a result, current recommendations emphasize the importance of providing appropriate onco-fertility counseling to all patients of reproductive age who have just been diagnosed with cancer, regardless of the illness's stage.

It is essential to take this step and talk to all young people about their condition, the prognosis, the necessary treatments—including any potential gonad-toxicity—the need for contraception both during and after active systemic therapies, their future desire to become parent, the likelihood of becoming pregnant, its safety, and the results, as well as the strategies that can be used to minimize the harmful effects of the pregnancy.

On the other hand, further research is required to identify which young cancer patients need fertility preservation, according to Dr. Nadia. She thinks that many younger patients will not have their fertility affected by cancer treatment. Still, because it's impossible to know this in advance, many undertake unnecessary fertility treatments.

Dr. Nadia said that more research is required to examine these patient's success rates in getting pregnant after fertility preservation because we lack that knowledge and are constrained in how we can help patients. On the contrary, she concurred, "There's a lot that goes into these judgments at the time of diagnosis."

"How a patient views herself/himself and her/his possibility for future parenthood, as well as the medical alternatives accessible to her/him, are all crucial factors in assisting people in understanding risk and benefit when making decisions about fertility preservation, which is why we are striving to help."


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