Options are available, and pre-treatment discussion is important

With advances in pediatric cancer treatment now allowing more than 80 percent of children to survive at least five years after diagnosis, addressing therapy’s long-term negative consequences is increasingly important. Infertility is a top concern.

“In the past, the approach had been to try to cure the patient first and deal with the late effects as they came up,” says pediatric hematologist/oncologist Seth Rotz, MD, Director of the High-Five Cancer Survivors Clinic at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “Because survival has improved, there’s more of an emphasis on reducing long-term impacts, and one of the major ones is infertility. It’s one of the most common and life-altering complications experienced by adults treated for childhood cancers.”

Credit: iStock, KatarzynaBialasiewicz

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