Journal Article
. 2014 Feb; 32(11):1151-6.
doi: 10.1200/JCO.2013.52.8877.

Prospective study of fertility concerns and preservation strategies in young women with breast cancer

Kathryn J Ruddy 1 Shari I Gelber  Rulla M Tamimi  Elizabeth S Ginsburg  Lidia Schapira  Steven E Come  Virginia F Borges  Meghan E Meyer  Ann H Partridge  
  • PMID: 24567428
  •     26 References
  •     88 citations


Purpose: Most research regarding fertility in young women with breast cancer has focused on long-term survivors. Little is known about how fertility concerns affect treatment decisions or fertility preservation strategies at the time of initial cancer diagnosis.

Patients And Methods: As part of an ongoing prospective multicenter cohort study, we surveyed women with newly diagnosed early-stage breast cancer at age ≤ 40 years. The baseline survey included sociodemographic, medical, and treatment data as well as a modified Fertility Issues Survey, including fertility concern and preservation items. Univariable and multivariable modeling were used to investigate predictors of greater fertility concern.

Results: Among the first 620 eligible respondents included in this analysis, median age was 37 years (range, 17 to 40 years); 425 women (68%) discussed fertility issues with their physicians before starting therapy, and 319 (51%) were concerned about becoming infertile after treatment. Because of concerns about fertility, four women (1%) chose not to receive chemotherapy, 12 (2%) chose one chemotherapy regimen over another, six (1%) considered not receiving endocrine therapy, 19 (3%) decided not to receive endocrine therapy, and 71 (11%) considered receiving endocrine therapy for < 5 years; 65 (10%) used fertility preservation strategies. Greater concern about fertility was associated with younger age, nonwhite race, not having children, and receipt of chemotherapy.

Conclusion: Many young women with newly diagnosed breast cancer have concerns about fertility, and for some, these substantially affect their treatment decisions. Only a minority of women currently pursue available fertility preservation strategies in this setting.

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Clin Exp Reprod Med, 2020 Nov 03; 48(1). PMID: 33131234    Free PMC article.
Survey of professionals on breast cancer, fertility preservation and pregnancy in Argentina.
Alejandra García, Gabriela Candás, +11 authors, Juan Luis Uriburu.
Ecancermedicalscience, 2021 Mar 30; 15. PMID: 33777176    Free PMC article.
Tumor phenotype and concordance in synchronous bilateral breast cancer in young women.
Linda M Pak, Rachel Gaither, +11 authors, Ann H Partridge.
Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2020 Nov 27; 186(3). PMID: 33242164
What Can We Learn From Menstrual Patterns After Treatment for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer?
Elizabeth Cathcart-Rake, Kelly C Gast, Kathryn J Ruddy.
J Natl Cancer Inst, 2018 Jun 08; 111(1). PMID: 29878141    Free PMC article.
How Do Young Women with Cancer Experience Oncofertility Counselling during Cancer Treatment? A Qualitative, Single Centre Study at a Danish Tertiary Hospital.
Line Bentsen, Helle Pappot, +3 authors, Signe Hanghøj.
Cancers (Basel), 2021 Apr 04; 13(6). PMID: 33802795    Free PMC article.
Hot Topics on Fertility Preservation for Women and Girls-Current Research, Knowledge Gaps, and Future Possibilities.
Kenny A Rodriguez-Wallberg, Xia Hao, +3 authors, Frida E Lundberg.
J Clin Med, 2021 May 01; 10(8). PMID: 33924415    Free PMC article.
Evaluation of mitochondria in mouse oocytes following cisplatin exposure.
Qiaochu Wang, Karla J Hutt.
J Ovarian Res, 2021 May 12; 14(1). PMID: 33971923    Free PMC article.
Comparing the Gonadotoxicity of Multiple Breast Cancer Regimens: Important Understanding for Managing Breast Cancer in Pre-Menopausal Women.
Valentino Martelli, Maria Maddalena Latocca, +8 authors, Matteo Lambertini.
Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press), 2021 Jun 04; 13. PMID: 34079366    Free PMC article.