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It is normal to experience low mood and anxiety after a cancer diagnosis; in fact, up to 75% of individuals diagnosed with cancer report significant psychological and emotional stress. Studies have also shown that people affected by cancer who receive psychosocial care can have improved quality of life and reduced distress, which enhances overall cancer care and survivorship.
Practicing psychologists help a wide variety of people and can treat many kinds of problems, including helping patients who have recieved a recent cancer diagnosis. Patients may have problems they want help navigating, such as feeling overwhelmed with cancer diagnosis and treatment options. Psychologists can help patients learn to cope with stressful situations, manage the emotional aspects of their cancer diagnosis, and help make difficult decisions regarding their management plan.
Fertility is a vital concern to young cancer suvivors, who not only want to preserve quality of life after cancer but also want to protect their mental and emotional health. Additionally, patients with cancer diagnoses report wanting healthcare providers who are honest, compassionate, and patient. The Oncofertility Consortium believes psychologists are well equipped to faciliate discussions of fertility preservation and post-cancer quality of life given their proper training in counseling and expertise at providing emotional support to cancer patients.
The Oncofertility Consortium® provides many educational resources for psychologists that are designed to help navigate fertility preservation options with patients.
The Oncofertility Consortium Decision Tool Web Portal is a library of existing oncofertility decision aids designed to help psychologists stay up to date on fertility preservation techniques and technology; learn communication strategies for discussing fertility preservation options with patients of all ages and their family members; and access print and online patient educational resources.
The Oncofertility Consortium® offers many educational resources for psychologists in addition to our web portal, such as virtual grand rounds on pediatric and young adult survivorship issues and fertility preservation clinical information.
To refer a patient for a fertility preservation consultation, call the Oncofertility Consortium® FERTline at 312-503-FERT or 866-708-FERT and print out this flyer to give to your patient.
The Oncofertility Consortium® works with many advocacy organizations and support groups to provide young cancer patients with support and assistance regarding fertility, reproductive health, and quality of life throughout survivorship. Psychologists may be interested in connecting patients with community and online resources which provide emotional support.
Patients are often concerned about the cost of fertility preservation procedures. To learn more about oncofertility and insurance coverage, read Incorporating Insurance Education into the Fertility Preservation Process from Oncofertility Communication (2014) or check out the Oncofertility Consortium® blog post on Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation.
Do you have patients interested in fertility preservation and in need of financial aid? Fertile Action can help! Fertile Action offers financial aid for women with recent cancer diagnoses interested in fertility preservation. The advocacy organization provides additional financial information and resources, as well as online support groups for patients.
 Galway K, Black A, Cantwell M, Cardwell CR, Mills M, Donnelly M. Psychosocial interventions to improve quality of life and emotional wellbeing for recently diagnosed cancer patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD007064. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007064.pub2.