Some cancer treatments affect fertility: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy, explains Dr. Victor Guardiola, Medical Oncologist with Miami Cancer Institute.
In general, types of cancer treatment that can affect infertility are surgery and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a medication given usually through the vein into the whole system. Intense treatment for radiation is a beam of x-rays from outside a patient’s body through the skin into the target area. Hormonal therapy and targeted therapies are usually orals, meaning peels to block either hormone therapy pathways or to go and target something specific that usually, cancer will have different than your normal tissue.
Dr. Guardiola explains these types of cancer treatment can affect infertility differently. For example, he highlights how many patients think all they need to do is take a pill for breast cancer and don’t realize the effects that it may have on their fertility in the future. That patient would have to accept that pill for an extended period, years, for example, so the idea that a person would have to stop their cancer treatment to become pregnant is often a surprise. Dr. Guardiola believes it’s vital to approach these topics before patients start their treatment and spare their fertility as soon as possible. Doing this would ensure no delay to any kind of treatment vital to their health.
To watch the full segment of Dr. Guardiola explaining cancer fertility, visit: https://youtu.be/x4-XFxTBeY0