As advanced cancer treatments continue to offer superior chances at survival, cancer can forever alter one’s life plans.
Many women do not even realize that breast cancer treatments involving radiation therapy and chemotherapy can rescind their reproductive possibilities—leaving them infertile.
The shortcoming — these women are frequently struggling with guilt and a poor outlook on building a family when compared to those who were suitably informed.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. (Source, BreastCancer.org, 2018)
Most cancer treatment plans, in addition to surgery and radiation, include chemotherapy or prolonged hormonal therapy; both of which strikingly reduce the chance of conception with the intended mother’s eggs.
Chemotherapy is notably toxic to ovaries. Consequently, many women lose the ability to produce multiple eggs after chemotherapy, or stop ovulating altogether and enter menopause early.
Fortuitously, the advanced progress in assisted reproductive technologies has led to a wide range of OPTIONS obtainable for preservation of fertility in women with breast cancer.
While the multiplicity of choices can be overwhelming, fighting for the possibilities of pregnancy is priceless. Surrogacy is also appropriate for women with medical conditions that could make pregnancy dangerous, including breast cancer, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, severe diabetes, and heart disease.
Breast Cancer Statistics and Fertility
According to BreastCancer.org, about 1 in 8 US women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. About 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018. (Source, BreastCancer.org, 2018)
The month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, individuals all of the world share stories of compassion, victory, hopelessness and optimism in helping fight for a cure, ultimately defining moments in pink. The pink ribbon represents hope for the future and the generous goodness of people who support those affected by breast cancer and a strong message of awareness for early detection techniques.
How can I Protect my Future?
Fertility preservation options include egg freezing and embryo freezing, also called cryopreservation. Before cancer treatment, stimulation and ovum retrieval will be performed, eggs recovered will be cryopreserved. After cancer treatment, eggs can be thawed and through ICSI, embryos are formed.
Surrogacy options for breast cancer survivors include fertilizing your partner’s sperm with a donor egg and a surrogate, using your frozen embryo for implantations into the surrogate, using your frozen eggs, which is fertilized by your partner's sperm and then carried to term by the surrogate, or using one of your frozen eggs fertilized by sperm donation and then carried to term by the surrogate.
Seeking the help of a Surrogate Mother can be overwhelming, but finding the right woman, a selfless woman, willing to help protect your future is a moment of truth.