Breast Cancer and Fertility preservation
IVI Fertility Middle East helps patients diagnosed with breast cancer as well as the survivors to get pregnant again.
Press Release – Dubai, UAE; October 14, 2017: According to a 2011 report released by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the top five cancers in females are: breast, leukemia, colorectal, thyroid and uterus.
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that normally line the ducts and the lobules. Most breast cancer begins in the ducts (ductal), some in the lobules (lobular), and the rest in other breast tissues. Lymph is a clear fluid that has tissue waste products and immune system cells. Most lymphatic vessels of the breast lead to underarm (axillary) lymph nodes. Some lead to lymph nodes above the collarbone (called supraclavicular) and others to internal mammary nodes which are next to the breastbone (or sternum). Cancer cells may enter lymph vessels and spread along these vessels to reach lymph nodes.
Cancer cells may also enter blood vessels and spread through the bloodstream and other parts of the body. Breast cancer is classified by whether the cancer started in the ducts or lobules, whether the cells have grown or spread through the duct or lobule (invasive) or not (in situ carcinoma) and the way the cancer cells look under a microscope.
There are different stages of cancer and each stage is treated differently. Most common types of cancer treatment are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and many others. Cancer treatments and the drugs for breast cancer may affect a woman’s fertility. For example, chemotherapy for breast cancer might damage the ovaries, which sometimes lead to instant or delayed infertility. Yet, many women are able to become pregnant after treatment. Therefore, it is highly recommended to visit a fertility specialist before undergoing cancer treatments for fertility preservation.
At IVI fertility Oocyte Vitrification/ cryopreservation (Egg Freezing) is performed for patients that are diagnosed with different types of cancers. Oocyte Vitrification is a technique used to extract a woman’s eggs (oocytes), freeze and store them (oocyte bank). Those eggs can be used later on, when the woman is ready to become pregnant, the eggs can be thawed, fertilized, and then transferred to the uterus as embryos. “We always advise our patients to vitrificate the oocytes before chemotherapy treatment begins as the patient has an acceptable ovarian reserve” mentioned Dr. Barbara Lawrenz IVF Consultant at IVI Fertility Clinic.
Mariam, 32 was diagnosed with breast cancer, said “I survived and I am perfectly fine today because it was on one of my regular screenings that my cancer was discovered, I’m also pleased to still be able to have a baby after the struggle with chemotherapy especially that I had a low egg reserve before the treatment started”.
In this respect, Dr. Barbara Lawrenz considers that: “Egg freezing can also be useful for women who, for the purpose of education, career or other reasons, desire to postpone motherhood. Freezing eggs at an early age may ensure a chance for a future pregnancy. Additionally, women with a family history of early menopause have an interest in fertility preservation. With egg freezing, they will have a frozen store of eggs, in the likelihood that their eggs are depleted at an early age”.
Mariam also added “it is great that science and technology can still help us reach our dreams no matter what the circumstances are, now I try to raise awareness about breast cancer as well as the importance of fertility preservation.
IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic is the world leader in delivering fertility treatments with 71 clinics and 160,000 babies born worldwide. It offers a comprehensive range of infertility treatments, including genetic testing, backed by world’s most advanced technology and a team of highly experienced specialists. The friendly patient care staff ensures that couples seeking IVF treatments are walked through all possible details on their treatment and expected results.