The role of popular media in oncofertility communication

Donna R Leff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Popular media coverage of fertility issues in cancer patients has been sporadic and uneven. We found deeper coverage beginning in 2008, but even then, the term oncofertility was used infrequently. This chapter reviews the coverage in national media including Time, Newsweek, CNN, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and National Public Radio and their Web sites, and some local media, both print and broadcast, as well as media-related blogs. In addition, we discuss some entertainment media coverage, including a network drama series, a soap opera, and a popular movie. Most stories were identified through Google searches. A review of popular media coverage of infertility shows some common threads, notably the personal stories of patients, especially success stories, capture media attention, as do studies in peer-reviewed journals, especially if they lend themselves to narrative journalism. The findings suggest that if providers want to use popular media to communicate information about oncofertility to young cancer patients and their families they should tell stories as often as they can.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOncofertility Communication
Subtitle of host publicationSharing Information and Building Relationships Across Disciplines
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781461482352
ISBN (Print)9781461482345
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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