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Pregnancy Despite Cancer

Every year, more than 100,000 people younger than age 45 get cancer and, statistics indicate, a high percentage make full recoveries thanks to improved cancer treatments. Though these treatments save lives, they can affect fertility.

The No. 1 barrier to fertility for young cancer patients is timely referral to a fertility specialist.”

Orhan Bukulmez, M.D.
Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility

Many young cancer patients, however, are reportedly never counseled about fertility preservation options before cancer treatments begin, perhaps depriving them of the chance to have children. UT Southwestern’s Program for Fertility Preservation can help cancer patients by offering them a range of advanced options and – just as important – timely access to treatment when days can be critical. 

“The No. 1 barrier to fertility for young cancer patients is timely referral to a fertility specialist,” says Orhan Bukulmez, M.D., Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UTSW. “As soon as they are diagnosed, patients need to be seen and counseled by a fertility physician.”

Dr. Bukulmez and his colleague, Victor Beshay, M.D., Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, often begin fertility preservation treatments within 24 to 48 hours of calls.

Among the proven preservation treatments available at UTSW are egg freezing, emergency in vitro fertilization for embryo banking, and sperm cryopreservation. Fertility physicians can also collaborate with gynecologic oncology physicians on surgical techniques to limit radiation doses to the ovaries. Male fertility preservation counseling is also offered.