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Factors influencing the provision of fertility counseling and impact on quality of life in adolescents and young adults with cancer
journal contributionposted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Gemma Skaczkowski, Vicki WhiteVicki White, Kate Thompson, Helen Bibby, Michael Coory, Lisa M Orme, Rachel Conyers, Marianne B Phillips, Michael Osborn, Rosemary Harrup, Antoinette Anazodo
PURPOSE: This study investigated the impact of fertility-related discussions on Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients' quality of life (QoL) and the factors influencing provision of these discussions. METHODS: Recruitment was conducted through population-based state cancer registries. Eligible AYAs were 15-24 years at diagnosis, 3-24 months postdiagnosis, with any cancer (except early stage melanoma). As part of a larger survey, AYAs were asked about their experiences of fertility-related discussions and QoL (FACT-G). RESULTS: Of the 207 AYAs returning surveys (29% response rate) 88% reported a discussion about infertility risks, 75% reported a discussion about preservation options and 59% were offered a referral to a fertility specialist. Patients attending health services with an AYA focus were more likely than those attending other types of centers to report discussions of fertility preservation (FP) options (85% versus 67%) and referrals (75% versus 49%). Social well-being was positively related to discussions about preservation options and being provided fertility risk information in a sensitive, supportive manner. CONCLUSIONS: Providing a sensitive and proactive discussion about fertility-related risks may benefit AYAs' well-being. Services with an AYA focus are fulfilling their mandate of ensuring optimal fertility-related care for AYA cancer patients.