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Breast cancer patients 'not always warned about the effect of treatment on fertility'
Many female breast cancer patients are not aware that having chemotherapy or radiation treatments to combat the disease could affect their fertility.
This is according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which noted that women who learn too late that they may not be able to have children of their own may go through significant distress.
"Learning about lost fertility after treatment can be devastating," medical director of the organisation Dr Louis Weckstein said.
A study by the body found that fewer than half of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the country are referred to a specialist in reproductive medicine.
This is despite there being ways to undergo treatment for the disease and start a family, such as in vitro fertilization using eggs or embryos frozen before they start fighting their illness.
Chemotherapy does not always leave women infertile and the new anti-Mullerian hormone test, developed by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, could help assess the ovarian function of patients who have been given the treatment.
Posted by Martine Ward
World Congress 2015