• Fertility preservation in young females with non-gynaecologic malignancy: an emerging speciality.

      Smyth, C; Robertson, I; Higgins, L; Memeh, K; O'Leary, M; Keane, M; Khan, W; Barry, K; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland. (Springer, 2013-06-06)
      BACKGROUND: As new treatment and research advances continue to improve the prognosis of cancer patients, oncologists and surgeons are increasingly faced with the issue of fertility protection and preservation. Cancer patients are frequently exposed to gonadotoxic chemotherapy and radiation therapy as a component of their treatment regimens. There are currently various anticipatory techniques available to women who wish to retain future reproductive ability, the most successful of which involves oocyte retrieval followed by in vitro fertilisation and embryo cryopreservation. Innovative methods include oocyte cryopreservation, ovarian follicle cryopreservation and oophoropexy. AIM: The aim of this study was to examine our combined experiences at Mayo General Hospital of treating female patients (<30 years) with non-gynaecologic malignancy and requiring referral to the HARI Unit during a 6-year period (2007-2012). Emphasis was placed on reviewing the fertility-preservation options available. METHODS: The hospital inpatient enquiry system was inspected for all cases of non-gynaecologic malignancy referred for fertility preservation from 2007 to 2012. RESULTS: Three cases of non-gynaecologic malignancy in young females, with an intention to protect and preserve future fertility were identified. The primary treatment plan did not initially incorporate input from a gynaecology or fertility specialist. It was after concerted inquiry and reflection by both physician and patient that oncofertility consultation was sought. CONCLUSION: The responsibility is on both physicians and surgeons to consider a more holistic approach to cancer care in young female patients, which focuses not only on the elimination of malignancy but also on preservation of fertility and quality of life.