Online Tool Helps Patients Find Fertility Experts Prior to Cancer Treatment

CURE, Fall 2015, Volume 14, Issue 4

People with cancer who have not yet had children, or who want more, may benefit from a new online tool that can help them find and consult with fertility experts before they start their cancer treatment.

People with cancer who have not yet had children, or who want more, may benefit from a new online tool that can help them find and consult with fertility experts before they start their cancer treatment.

Called FERTILITY SCOUT, the tool was launched by the nonprofit Alliance for Fertility Preservation in partnership with Remedy Health Media, and made possible by an unrestricted grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

There are guidelines for fertility preservation in oncology settings, and reproductive technology has advanced quite a bit over the past 10 years, but still only about half of those newly diagnosed with cancer discuss fertility with their oncologists, statistics show. According to two studies, less than 60 percent of oncologists speak with their patients who are of childbearing age about fertility, and less than 40 percent of treating physicians refer those patients interested in fertility preservation to reproductive specialists. That means that patients who are interested may end up not scheduling fertility preservation services such as sperm, egg or embryo banking.

FERTILITY SCOUT uses geo-location technology to help patients or their health care providers find fertility preservation service providers who are local to them. Once a request for a consultation has been made, a FERTILITY SCOUT staff member will contact the patient within 48 hours to set up an expedited appointment.

The tool can be found at allianceforfertilitypreservation.org