Fertility advice for cancer patients 'differ across genders'

30 May 2012

Women are being given significantly different advice regarding fertility treatment after being diagnosed with cancer, new research has suggested.

A study led by the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian analysed 16 men and 18 women when it comes to medical professionals discussing future fertility soon after each patient had been diagnosed with cancer.

Following the investigation, the researchers found that information regarding fertility preservation options differed between men and women.

For example, male patients were advised by a medical professional to consider storing their sperm, with almost all of the men discussing sperm banking at some point.

In comparison, hardly any of the women could recall receiving any advice regarding fertility preservation when talking with a consultant soon after their cancer diagnosis.

Valerie Peddie, a fertility nurse and specialist/research midwife at the University of Aberdeen's School of Medicine and Dentistry University of Aberdeen, noted: "Our study has demonstrated significant gaps in the information provided to young women diagnosed with cancer and suggests the need for an early appointment with a fertility expert."

The study comes soon after scientists at the University of Oxford and Edinburgh University, along with the Institute of Cancer Research, discovered a sex chromosome which could pinpoint why bowel cancer varies in development between men and women.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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