About 90,000 reproductive-age women are diagnosed with cancer annually in the United States, with the most common malignances being breast, hematologic, gynecologic, and central nervous system (CNS) cancers. Approximately 25,500 of these cases are breast cancer, with the majority of women having local (61%) or regional (32%) disease. Almost all of these women require chemotherapy with or without endocrine therapy for cure. Thankfully, the majority of young women who undergo breast cancer treatments survive their disease (e.g., 99% of local and 84% of regional breast cancer cases), as do those with other cancer diagnoses, albeit curative treatments can lead to a delay in childbearing and/or render the patient infertile, if not sterile. This translates to a relatively high demand for parenthood following cancer treatment. Many women express concerns regarding treatment-related infertility, allowing this risk to influence whether or not they undergo potentially life-saving chemotherapy and/or endocrine therapy. The concerns are not unwarranted, as female cancer survivors are significantly less likely to achieve parenthood, with the probability of a first child after cancer diminished by 50% compared with the general population.
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