Collaborative multidisciplinary team approach to fertility issues among adolescent and young adult cancer patients
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Cancer treatment and the field of reproductive technology have each made impressive advancements in the last decade. Improved cancer treatment and survival rates have increased the number of cancer survivors, who might benefit from an array of fertility preservation strategies provided by emerging and advanced assisted conception technology. The challenge becomes bridging the gap between these two separate disciplines to ultimately improve the quality of life for cancer survivors. This paper discusses the issues and process involved with bringing these two teams of health-care professionals together. This model provides a framework for coordinating efforts in providing fertility preservation options to patients undergoing treatment for cancer. Effective multidisciplinary teams that include: oncologists, nurses in the specialties of oncology and infertility, social workers, reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialists, andrologists, and embryologists are required to work together in order to achieve success. The result of this unique team approach is not only a cancer survivor, but one whose quality of life might be enhanced by being able to have a child of his or her own in the future.
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