Advances and lapses in cancer treatment | Letters

Carolyn Rogers on fertility problems, Cliff O’Gorman on whole-gene screening and Martyn Cornell on the effects of alcohol

It was interesting to read the latest research from Edinburgh University revealing that women who have survived cancer in the past 30 years are a third less likely to become pregnant (Report, July 4). It shines a light on the urgent need for a conversation between women and their treatment team about fertility preservation following a diagnosis of breast cancer. At Breast Cancer Care we speak to women all the time who are frustrated by the lack of information on fertility. Our survey last year found over half (53%) of younger women diagnosed with breast cancer have no discussions with healthcare professionals about fertility preservation options, contrary to Nice guidance.

This missed opportunity can be devastating for women who want a chance to have a child or extend their family after breast cancer. It is crucial that women feel empowered and are able to make informed decisions that are right for them. The NHS must make sure oncologists and fertility specialists work together to make this a reality.
Carolyn Rogers
Senior clinical nurse specialist, Breast Cancer Care

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