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Young female cancer survivors’ use of fertility care after completing cancer treatment

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The purpose of the present study is to investigate factors associated with female young adult cancer survivors’ (YCSs) use of fertility care (FC), including consultation or fertility treatment, after completing their cancer treatment.


In this cross-sectional study, females between that ages of 18 and 35 years who had been diagnosed with childhood, adolescent, or young adult cancers completed a 20-min web-based survey that included demographics, reproductive history, use of FC, fertility-related informational needs, and reproductive concerns.


A total of 204 participants completed the survey. Participants’ mean age was 28.3 ± 4.5 years. Thirty (15 %) participants reported using FC after cancer treatment. The majority of participants recalled not receiving enough information about fertility preservation options at the time of cancer diagnosis (73 %). In multivariable analysis, those with higher concerns about having children because of perceived risk to their personal health (P = 0.003) were less likely to report use of FC after cancer treatment. Those who had used FC before cancer treatment (P = 0.003) and who felt less fertile than age-matched women (P = 0.02) were more likely to use FC after their cancer treatment.


While most YCSs in this cohort believed that they did not receive enough information about fertility and most wanted to have children, the vast majority did not seek FC. The findings of this study offer further evidence of the need for improved education and emotional support regarding reproductive options after cancer treatment is completed. Targeted discussions with YCSs about appropriate post-treatment FC options may improve providers’ capacity to help YCSs meet their parenthood goals.

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This study was initiated and conducted with the support of the American Cancer Society grant nos. 120500-PFT-11-008-01-CPPB and ACS IRG 70-002. This study was funded (in part) by the National Cancer Institute, Comprehensive Partnerships to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Program, grant nos. U54CA132384 and U54CA132379, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Development) grant nos. HD058799 and 5TL1CA133837-05, and American Cancer Society grant no. MRSG-08-110-01-CCE.

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Correspondence to Jessica R. Gorman.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Kim, J., Mersereau, J.E., Su, H.I. et al. Young female cancer survivors’ use of fertility care after completing cancer treatment. Support Care Cancer 24, 3191–3199 (2016).

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