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Family Building Options Exist for Cancer Survivors

It’s a simple reality for many cancer survivors that fertility is lost in process of saving their lives. While many patients find they cannot conceive personally after treatments, the dream of having a family does not have to be given up entirely. There are ways for cancer patients to sometimes preserve fertility or seek alternatives. The issues, however, are important to consider and sometimes address as treatments are ongoing.

Here are a few things that people facing cancer treatments might want to consider in regard to future family planning:
• Fertility sparing treatments – The use of these may depend on the type of cancer involved and the location and extent of the tumor. When possible, doctors may be able to spare a person’s fertility while still treating the cancer effectively.
• Fertility planning – If treatments are likely to damage a person’s fertility, it is sometimes possible to bank and freeze eggs, embryos or sperm for future use. This preserves healthy cells for future use one cancer has been appropriately addressed.
• Adoption – Some cancer patients find that adoption is a viable option that enables them to enjoy a family. Patients, however, need to be mindful that many adoption agencies will require health records and some will request a doctor’s letter that indicates the five-year mark, for example, has been attained. Adoptions can also prove to be rather expensive, giving rise to the need to save for them. Some patients will find financial obstacles are less challenging if an adoption involves an older child who desperately needs a family.

Cancer can take its toll on a person’s ability to create a family. Options do exist, however, to make the dream reality once treatments have proven successful. Patients who are concerned about future fertility are urged to discuss all their options carefully with their healthcare providers.

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