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Oncofertility and the Social Sciences

  • Karrie Ann Snyder
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 138)

Due to breakthroughs in medical technology and more aggressive forms of cancer treatment, today most people diagnosed with cancer survive. In 2000, over 2.5 million adults of childbearing age were survivors of cancer [1,2]. And by 2010, it is estimated that one out of every 250 adults will be a survivor of childhood cancer [3,4]. The more aggressive forms of treatment that have made it possible for more people, particularly those diagnosed at younger ages, to survive cancer, however, also often impair an individual’s fertility. The field of oncofertility has emerged as a way to address lost or impaired fertility in those with a history of cancer. Biomedical research in this area is active in developing new ways to help those afflicted preserve their ability to have biological children. Oncofertility is also an interdisciplinary field that bridges biomedical and social sciences and examines issues regarding an individual’s fertility concerns, options, and choices in light of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Although the potential effects of cancer treatment on an individual’s fertility are well documented, the rate and extent of fertility impairment among those who have undergone cancer treatment are not fully known. Similarly, within the social sciences, how cancer patients are affected by infertility in their day-to-day lives and the impact on their sense of self have been largely overlooked. Improved survivorship rates over the last several decades, however, mean that cancer-related infertility is an issue that will become a concern for an increasing portion of the population along with their partners and families.

Keywords

Cancer Survivor Childhood Cancer Testicular Cancer Fertility Preservation Health Care Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karrie Ann Snyder
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Women's Health Research, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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