Did you know that many women who survive cancer are unable to have children later? That's because life-saving cancer treatments can result in complete sterility. Fortunately, cancer survivors are increasingly speaking out about what they want out of life after illness. I've been privileged to offer these women fertility-sparing options so they can choose life both ways.
This Saturday, October 2nd, one of my sons is running in the 2010 Komen Houston Race for the Cure. A couple of years ago, I spoke to a gathering of women who form the Education Committee of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Houston, the nation's premiere advocacy and research organization. The questions from this particularly well-informed audience led me to realize that more general public education is needed.
Cancer survival increases steadily. Fertility treatments to allow survivors to become parents is available. What is still slowly developing is a pipeline of patient information and referral. Too many women find themselves on the infertile side of cancer treatment asking why they hadn't heard of fertility preservation before it was too late.
The Komen Foundation has funded great strides in research to help women survive cancer and go on to have fulfilled lives. I urge you to do what you can to continue supporting their mission. And spread the word yourself to friends affected by cancer: fertility preservation is not experimental science. It is medical care that is currently available.