With improvements in early diagnosis and treatment, the rate of cancer survival has improved significantly. In fact, the survival rate for women under age 45 rose from 72.8 percent in the late ‘70s to 81 percent in the late 1990s, according to the National Cancer Institute. Improved survival, along with many women choosing to delay childbearing until their 30s and beyond, has led to many surgical and medical oncologists treating an increasing number of women for whom fertility is a major concern.
In the past, these women had to choose between fertility and survival, but now, with new surgical techniques and therapies, many options are now available. A woman’s fertility can be harmed by any of a number of treatments for pre-cancer and cancer that remove or interfere with the normal functioning of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries or cervix, as well as causing hormonal imbalances.
If you have been diagnosed with or are concerned you may have a pre-cancer or cancer involving the uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, vulva or a colorectal or bladder cancer, you should seek a consultation with a gynecologic oncologist prior to having surgery. He can then discuss available options which include conservative surgical procedures, chemo- and hormonal therapies, as well as advanced reproductive techniques, which may increase your chances of conceiving and delivering a healthy infant.
For more information and to make an appointment, please call Dr. William Roy, Medical Director of Gyn Oncology at the Cancer Center at 251-631-3490.