Understanding Fertility Preservation Is an Important Part of Breast Cancer Awareness
During Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, the physicians at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates would like to remind women to become more informed about breast cancer. We’re all trained ob/gyns as well as fertility specialists, so we want to emphasize the importance of early detection of breast cancer. The best way to achieve this is to:
- Schedule annual wellness visits with your ob/gyn.
- Talk to your ob/gyn about how to perform breast self-exams so you can get to know how your breasts normally look and feel. This makes it easier to report any changes to your ob/gyn.
- Have an annual mammogram, starting at age 40 (earlier if you have increased risk factors).
Breast Cancer Awareness Leads to Early Detection
Early detection is particularly important for fertility patients. When patients take steps to practice breast cancer awareness, they may detect cancer in an earlier stage, which is helpful when we develop a treatment plan for fertility preservation.
Cancer treatments may affect your ability to conceive, so as soon as you receive a breast cancer diagnosis, we need to work with your oncologist to develop a fertility preservation plan. Here’s how treatment may affect your fertility:
- Chemotherapy—some of the drugs may kill cells that are involved in producing eggs
- Radiation—reproductive organs, such as ovaries, may be damaged by the beams of radiation
Fertility Preservation Can Help Safeguard Your Family’s Future
The need for fertility preservation during breast cancer treatment is an important part of our message for Breast Cancer Awareness month. When you receive your diagnosis, our Dallas fertility doctors will work on a plan with you, your partner, and your oncologist. We’ll offer different options for fertility preservation to each patient. Each patient’s needs are unique; for example, women who have estrogen positive breast cancer or hormone-sensitive tumors may not be able to have treatments that use ovarian stimulation.
One of our frequent fertility preservation treatments is cryopreservation, which involves freezing eggs or embryos and storing them for future use. If you’re a young woman or a woman without a partner or who is simply not ready to have children, you may choose to have oocyte (unfertilized eggs) cryopreservation.
If you’re already in a relationship, you may choose embryo cryopreservation. We use your eggs and combine them with your partner’s sperm to create embryos to be frozen and preserved.
Our message to you this Breast Cancer Awareness month: Fertility preservation planning is as important to your future family as early detection of breast cancer is to your health.
Our Dallas fertility doctors are always seeking out new treatments to optimize fertility options for our patients. Your future family is important to us, too. If you would like to learn more about fertility preservation and breast cancer awareness, contact the fertility specialists at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates.