Becoming a mother after cancer

Loutradis Dimitris

1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology School of Medicine National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Almost 498.000 women under the age of 45, are diagnosed with cancer every year worldwide; approximately 70% of them will survive more than 5 years after treatment. Therefore, once fear has faded, quality-of-life and other health and social issues touching these survivors, are emerging and need to be addressed in clinical and public realms. The major concern of these women is their fertility. In fact, after treatment and survival accomplishment, there is actually an increase desire for childbearing; indeed currently, there are a number of scheduled fertility options. On the other hand, recent research has shown that pregnancy after cancer does not cause recurrence in most cases, or health problems in newborns and children. However, many survivors suffer from fertility-oriented complications and have to struggle with the idea of at some point the cancer could return.

Physicians should discuss fertility sparring and reproductive options with cancer patients across the treatment spectrum. Unfortunately, several primary care physicians, lack the awareness and knowledge from current literature on the reproductive impacts of cancer treatment, leading to missing opportunities for motherhood. As there is a growing population of young cancer survivors, it is important for the physicians to understand the effects of specific cancer treatments on fertility and the needs for conservative cancer treatment in carefully elected cases.