Healthcare Provider Perspectives on Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
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.