Cancer Treatment and Research Volume 156, 2010, pp 391-401
Date: 02 Aug 2010

Healthcare Provider Perspectives on Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients

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Abstract

For many people, cancer is the most feared health diagnosis imaginable and brings about immediate thoughts of death. Even cancer healthcare providers have been shown to exhibit a sense of hopelessness and negative attitudes toward a cancer diagnosis. Yet, overall cancer survival rates have been increasing over the past 30 years, suggesting that a diagnosis of cancer should not necessarily be associated with impending death or giving up hope of survival. Five-year cancer survival rates over the past 30 years have increased from 56 to 64% for adults and 56–75% for pediatric and adolescent cancers. As a result, there are approximately 450,000 cancer survivors in the current population between the ages of 19 and 39, and it has been estimated that by 2010, 1 in every 250 young people in the United States will be cancer survivors. Increased survival rates have caused a shift in thinking toward a more comprehensive model of cancer care. Survival and cancer treatment still take precedence, but recent focus among healthcare providers, researchers, organizations, and policy makers shows increased attention to the long-term psychosocial aspects of cancer survival.