ecancermedicalscience

Review

Fertility preservation is an imperative goal in the clinical practice of radiation oncology: a narrative review

2 Nov 2022
Yumna Ahmed, Agha Muhammad Hammad Khan, Urooba Jawwad Rao, Fatima Shaukat, Arhum Jamil, Syed Mohammad Hasan, Sehrish Abrar, Bilal Mazhar Qureshi, Ahmed Nadeem Abbasi

With reduced cancer mortality in recent years, increased efforts must be put into safeguarding cancer survivors’ long-term quality of life (QOL). Fertility preservation is recognised as a key component of QOL in survivorship. Concerns about fertility have been seen to significantly impact cancer patients’ emotional and mental health as, generally, both malignancy and its treatment may cause a temporary or permanent reduction in infertility. This article reviews the primary effects of radiation therapy on male and female gonads and has further highlighted procedures through which the functioning of these organs can be protected before or during radiation treatment. We have also emphasised the importance of the establishment of multidisciplinary tumour boards and patient education regarding future reproductive function which is an important component of the care of individuals with cancer. This article highlights that infertility is a persistent and major concern that can add to long-term stress in cancer survivors, and education about fertility preservation before the initiation of any treatment is especially important.

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