Organizational Strategies to Overcome Barriers to Addressing Fertility Preservation in the Oncology Setting

  • Joanne Frankel KelvinEmail author


Recognizing the importance of fertility and family building among adolescents and young adults with cancer, professional organizations have developed guidelines highlighting the need for oncology clinicians to inform patients about the potential risks to fertility from treatment, discuss options for fertility preservation, and refer interested patients to reproductive specialists. Nevertheless, patients continue to report unmet fertility-related informational needs. A number of organizational barriers have been identified by oncology clinicians, making it difficult for them to implement these guidelines in their professional practice. Oncology care settings must respect the challenges clinicians face in discussing fertility with their patients and develop organization-wide strategies to overcome these barriers. Specific strategies include education of oncology clinicians on fertility risks and fertility preservation options, ensuring the availability of patient education resources, establishing a network of collaborating reproductive specialists, promoting multidisciplinary responsibility for fertility discussions, and creating prompts reminding clinicians to address fertility. Success in implementing these strategies within the oncology setting, and ensuring they are institutionalized throughout the organization and sustainable over time, is optimized by using a centralized comprehensive approach.


Cancer Fertility preservation Guidelines Organizational strategies Program development 



Funding: Funded in part through the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA008748.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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