Increased awareness could save fertility of cancer patients

The Oncofertility Consortium recently hosted a group of masters students from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Over the next few weeks, they will be contributing their perspectives to the Oncofertility Blog. Here is one of their stories.

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By Zara Husaini-

When Matthew Zachary was diagnosed with brain cancer 16 years ago, he was not made aware of all the possible repercussions of the disease. “My fertility wasn’t even considered back then,” he said.

Zachary, the founder and CEO of I’m Too Young For This, a New York foundation for young cancer patients, said that cancer should never deprive someone of the right to have a family.

“When anyone gets diagnosed they want to take care of it right away,” Zachary said, explaining that patients don’t always have time to seek out information regarding oncofertility. There’s a very small window of opportunity. The psychology of shock puts you in survival mode – you don’t think of anything except I don’t want to die.”

Zachary, who was diagnosed as a college senior, is the father of twins who were conceived by in vitro fertilization. His cancer had affected his fertility.

Oncofertility is a field that provides fertility options to cancer patients. The field is made up of cancer and fertility experts. Options for patients include egg banking, embryo banking, ovarian tissue banking and ovarian transportation and shielding…Read more about Zara’s perspective on oncofertility.