Volume 156 of the series Cancer Treatment and Research pp 371-379


Perspectives on Oncofertility from Demography and Economics

  • Rosalind Berkowitz KingAffiliated withDemographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Email author 

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The science of demography focuses on the drivers of population dynamics: fertility, mortality, and migration. Demography is inherently interdisciplinary and draws on theory from a range of social sciences, including sociology, economics, and anthropology. The demographers’ approach to fertility research at a given time is grounded in the contemporaneous fertility trends and fertility-related technology at the societal and individual levels. The science of contraception is well-documented, and the science of infertility is scant. Nevertheless, the sociological, economic, and anthropological concepts on which demographers have drawn to explain fertility patterns and contraceptive behavior can be usefully applied to infertility. Here, I begin to lay out how demographic theory and concepts from economics can shed light on questions of interest to researchers in the emerging field of oncofertility, the preservation of biological fertility in cancer patients.