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Preserve Fertility Before Cancer Treatment

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World Cancer Day: Preserve Fertility Before Cancer Treatment, Here’s How To Do


Cancer treatments can adversely impact fertility. This World Cancer Day, let's spread awareness about fertility preservation before cancer treatment.

A group of oncologists and doctors is marking the World Cancer Day with a pledge to preserve fertility. A global initiative, led by Union for International Cancer Control, World Cancer Day is observed every year on 4th February to raise awareness, educate and promote personal, collective, and government action to save millions of preventable cancer deaths.


This World Cancer Day, oncologists and doctors at HCG Cancer Hospital and Milann Fertility have come together for the digital campaign #PledgeToPreserveFertility to #CloseTheCareGap to raise awareness amongst people diagnosed with cancer. The purpose of the campaign is to educate people so that they can make informed choices to preserve their fertility before they begin cancer treatments, they said.


Fertility and cancer: A neglected aspect in fight against cancer

Talking about the #PledgeToPreserveFertility campaign, Dr. Vishal Rao, Country Director - Head Neck Surgical Oncology & Robotic Surgery at HCG Cancer Centre Bengaluru, who is also spearheading the digital campaign said, "In the global fight against cancer, there is an urgent need to define targets and timelines to address and close the care gaps. One such significant and neglected aspect is fertility and cancer."


While advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer have significantly increased the survival rates for many cancers, many people are unable to effectively access adequate care to fertility in most countries around the world, even when the infrastructure and expertise exist, Dr. Rao highlighted.


He elaborated, "This is the "equity gap" and it is costing lives. (In)equity and (in)equality have both been pertinent to aspect of fertility and cancer care. Equality = Sameness. Inequality refers to the uneven distribution of resources. Equity = Fairness. Inequity means unjust, avoidable differences in care or outcomes."


Addressing the inequality in access to fertility care

Dr. Rao believes that the #PledgeToPreserveFertility campaign taken by HCG and Milaan will play a key role in addressing the inequality in access to fertility care that exists between populations and areas and "will go a long way in ensuring radical healthcare transformations at the community level."


Talking about the awareness campaign, Dr. Kamini A. Rao, a Padma Shri awardee and Founder and Chief Mentor of Milann, said, "We are glad to be associated with HCG for the campaign and spread awareness amongst people. We understand the power of working together for the cause and educating people about the life-threatening disease and being able to help them in understanding the issue in a better way".


Cancer treatments can adversely impact fertility

The experts pointed out that a lot of people diagnosed with cancer do not know that cancer treatments can adversely impact their ability to have children and when they find out, it's often too late.


In women, chemotherapy and radiation can lead to premature ovarian failure. Reproductive organs may be permanently damaged in some cases. For men, chemotherapy and radiation can lower sperm counts or decrease sperm movement, leading to difficulty causing a pregnancy. While sperm counts may rebound, it may take months or years they explained.


Fertility preservation methods one can opt before cancer treatment

Depending on age, gender and type of cancer, and treatment there will be many options before the patient. The most common fertility preservation methods for adults include Sperm Cryopreservation, Oocyte Cryopreservation, and Embryo Cryopreservation.


Through #PledgeToPreserveFertility campaign, Milann aims to educate and spread awareness about preserving fertility amongst cancer patients who are undergoing cancer treatments.


In light of World Cancer Day's theme of closing the care gap, Milann is also offering patients diagnosed with cancer the benefit of the first year of cryopreservation free. Cryopreservation is the process where biological material - cells, tissues, or organs - are frozen to preserve them for an extended period of time.

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