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Discussing oncofertility: The oncologist’s responsibility

HemOnc Today has published a nice article discussing what responsibility the oncologist has in informing the patient about his/her fertility risks and potential for preservation. The article cites the most recent American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) meeting, which found that only approximately 25% of oncologists refer their patients for fertility preservation. Furthermore, less than 40% of oncologists were aware of ASCO’s recommendations for patient guidance and navigation regarding fertility preservation. The article also discusses benefits and disadvantages of current fertility preservation methods available for men and women, including gamete cryopreservation, embryo creation and freezing, and ovarian tissue banking.

Related to the last blog on fertility choices in the economic recession, it seems that up to 51% of oncologists don’t mention fertility preservation options to patients because they believe that these measures will be financially out of reach.

To overcome these obstacles in doctor-patient communication, the article suggests that oncologists seek information from the Oncofertility Consortium’s Physician hotline and be very clear in their recommendations to patients, as these can be incredibly influential in the patient’s ultimate decisions about fertility preservation.

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