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Fertility Preservation and Sexuality after Cancer Pathfinder

According to information from the National Cancer Institute, some cancer treatments may cause temporary or permanent infertility. These side effects depend on many factors, including your sex; your age at time of treatment; the specific treatment type(s) and dose you receive; the use of a single therapy or many therapies; and length of time since treatment. Your treatment team can recommend a counselor or fertility specialist who can discuss available options and help you through the decision-making process.

Internet Resources Books Journal Articles Video Support

Internet Resources

American Cancer Society
One of the most respected of all not-for-profit organizations in the United States, the American Cancer Society makes outstanding resources available to patients, families, and caregivers. Search under keywords "fertility" and "sexuality" for information.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Cancer Topics
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine provides patients with this up-to-date fact sheet on cancer and fertility preservation. Not only does it discuss preservation of fertility, but it also addresses fertility issues after treatment for both men and women.
This organization strives to be a comprehensive fertility preservation resource for patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility. They offer programs and services to patients in five areas: research, awareness, education, financial assistance and support.


100 Questions and Answers about Cancer and Fertility. Oktay KH. 2008.
Oncofertility: Fertility Preservation for Cancer Survivors. Woodruff T. 2007.
Alphabet Blessings: Conceiving with In Vitro Fertilization. Cotter JA. 2006.
Fertility Issues: Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer. Longe J, ed. 2006. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at

Journal Articles

"Childhood Cancer: Fertility and Psychosocial Implications." Kinahan KE. Cancer Treatment & Research. 138:191-200. 2007.
"A Fertile Future? Life after Cancer in Young Men." Peddie VL. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. 7(8):1069-1073. August 2007.
"Fertility Management for Women with Cancer." Agarwal SK. Cancer Treatment & Research.138:15-27. 2007.
"Fertility Preservation in Adult Male Cancer Patients." Brannigan RE. Cancer Treatment & Research. 138:28-49. 2007.

"Today's Research, Tomorrow's Cures: The Ethical Implications of Oncofertility." Backhus LE. Cancer Treatment & Research.138:16379. 2007.


Breast Cancer and Intimacy. 50 minutes.
Cancer Journey: Issues for Survivors.


Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Health Learning Center has joined forces with the American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program to provide assistance to patients and families dealing with cancer. To take advantage of this unique service, provided by a licensed clinical social worker, call 312-926-4282.