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Fertility in People Diagnosed with Cancer

Learn about the effects of HBOC on fertility and family planning, how pregnancy impacts hereditary cancer risk, and options for assisted reproduction.

Fertility in people diagnosed with cancer

Some cancers and cancer treatments can affect fertility in women and men. These effects may be temporary or permanent. This is particularly true for individuals with cancers caused by inherited mutations because they are more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier age, before they have completed their family.

Both men and women have options for preserving their fertility after a cancer diagnosis. National guidelines recommend that, if possible, oncologists speak with young adults with cancer about fertility preservation prior to starting treatment, but research shows that oncologists don’t always present all fertility options to their patients with cancer. Therefore it is important for patients to speak with their oncologist about their preferences and plans for having children and ask about their options for fertility preservation prior to beginning any treatment or surgery.

Updated 10/02/17

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered