Not all oncologists bring up fertility implications, says study

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Findings recently published in Practical Radiation Oncology could have enormous implications for young lymphoma patients, especially those diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The findings indicate that whether the issue of potential infertility as a complication of cancer treatment is discussed by one's doctor has a lot to do with his or her oncology specialty.

 

Surgical oncologists tend to nelgect the fertility issue

Patients of reproductive age should not necessarily count on the oncology doctor to bring up fertility implications, but they can count on about four in every five radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to bring up the issue in consultation.

However, only about half of surgical oncologists do so. Fortunately, it is uncommon for any lymphoma patients to be treated by surgical oncologists.

These same figures apply to which specialists are prone to refer of-age patients to infertility specialists or reproductive endocrinologists.

Why is this issue overlooked?

As for why surgical oncologists often don't raise the issue of fertility, researchers could only speculate that it might be due to

  • Less interaction time with patients
  • Assumption that it's been discussed by a previous provider
  • The belief that surgery doesn't present the same risk to fertility as chemotherapy or radiation.

Source: CancerTreatment.net

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