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OMG2013 Cancer Summit Follow-Up: Talking Fertility

Many of you may already know about the widely popular organization, Stupid Cancer, but for those of you who are new to our blog, Stupid Cancer is the nation’s largest support community for young adult survivors of cancer. They support a global network of survivors, caregivers, providers and advocates to ensure that no young adult is unaware of the age-appropriate resources available to them. Stupid Cancer empowers young adults affected by cancer through innovative and award-winning programs and services, including Stupid Cancer Happy Hours, the Stupid Cancer Show, and the annual OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults.

The annual OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults is the premier oncology conference and social networking event for the young adult cancer movement. A pivotal healthcare event, OMG! is one of the largest gatherings of young adult patients, survivors, caregivers, professionals and advocates in the world. The event inspires thousands to get organized, build community and unite as one to drive change. In April, Stupid Cancer hosted its sixth OMG! Cancer Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and attracted over 600 attendees. As one would expect, Stupid Cancer makes the weekend-long event not only informative but also FUN, with events such as an ice cream social, and Stupid Cancer pub trivia.

Over the last few years, members of the Oncofertility Consortium have attended OMG! to help young survivors understand their fertility options and provide resources and pertinent information to young adults whose fertility may have been affected by their cancer treatment. This year, Consortium member, Laxmi Kondapalli, MD, MSCE, moderated two breakout sessions entitled, “Fertility: Rights & Options With, Through, And Beyond Care.” Dr. Kondapalli served as the clinical expert and reproductive health specialist alongside Alice Crisci, advocate and Founder of Fertile Action, and Jennifer Rockman, ovarian cancer survivor.

The framework of their session revolved around all the different routes to parenthood available to young cancer survivors, including banking eggs, embryos, ovarian tissue, and semen; using a gestational carrier; and pursuing adoption. Dr. Kondapalli stated that the overwhelming theme that evolved from the sessions was the lack of information presented to newly diagnosed cancer patients regarding the potential impact on their fertility. Attendees were eager to learn about the different tests available to gauge fertility, such as ovarian reserve testing for women and semen analysis for men. They also wanted to learn more about their fertility options following cancer treatment and, specifically, how their treatment may have impacted their fertility. Participants left armed with information and resources, and even Dr. Kondapalli’s personal email address, should they need her clinical expertise at any point in their fertility journey.

To learn more about your fertility options, visit SaveMyFertility.org, or contact us at 1.866.708.FERT (3378).

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