“But I Still Want To Be A Mom!”: Coping with Breast Cancer and The Risk of Infertility

After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, there are a thousand things going through your mind. The order of thoughts may differ from person to person, but if you are a young woman, one thing likely at the forefront is “Will I still be able to have children?” This is a normal concern, especially considering the harsh effects of chemotherapy and long-term exposure to radiation. Some therapies are more damaging than others, so it is important to consult your physician prior to beginning your treatment, ask questions and stay informed throughout the entire process.

So if you see pregnancy in your future, choose a treatment plan that can accommodate you. There are low-risk chemo drugs shown to do little damage to your reproductive system. If your doctor suggests that these drugs are not right for you, however, it does not mean your dreams of being a parent or having more children are doomed. You still have several options, including freezing your eggs, embryos, or pieces of your ovary. You can also consider undergoing infertility treatment after cancer, adopting, or using a donated egg or embryo. If you are comfortable, finding a surrogate may be another viable option for you.

Being young and newly diagnosed with breast cancer can be a frightening thing. Rest assured that your doctors and cancer treatment team will do their best to meet all your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Stay informed and be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations. For more information about fertility after breast cancer diagnosis, you can visit our surviveDAT resource page, American Cancer Society-How Cancer Treatments Can Affect Fertility in Women, Livestrong Fertility Services and many others.

“But I Still Want To Be A Mom!”: Coping with Breast Cancer and The Risk of Infertility

Kendra J. Royston

Kendra is a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network partner behind SurviveAL, and is studying ways to treat and prevent breast cancer through the use of dietary phytochemicals. She is also a trainee in the Susan G. Komen Graduate Training in Disparities Research program.

Louisiana's Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network

Young women with breast cancer face unique issues. And in the South, there are more young women overall facing breast cancer. In Louisiana, young African-American women are significantly more likely to suffer from breast cancer.

That is why SurviveDAT is here. Part of the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network, SurviveDAT's mission is to help improve the quality of life for young breast cancer survivors, as well as their family and friends, by providing continuing resources and support.

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