When a young woman is diagnosed with cancer, the rush to treatment is immediate. The patient is thrust into the world of cancer and the primary hope is recovery. Often, the patient is aware their fertility could be impacted, but overwhelmed and exhausted they put the “fertility issue” aside and pursue cancer treatment. Now; the work, research and worry is taken out of the patient’s hands. A leading infertility clinic is embarking on an educational platform to inform these patients about their options and making an unprecedented offer: egg freezing at no cost. They are working against the misconception that egg retrieval and freezing is time consuming and that no clinic would offer this without some “hidden cost” or benefit.
Fertility Rescue, from Sher Institutes of Reproductive Medicine (SIRM), is a brand new program that offers these young women a chance to preserve their fertility at no cost to the patient. The patient meets with SIRM’s specialists and begins the process of egg harvesting and freezing. This process only delays treatment for a short time but gives the patient hope for a future family.
From Dr. Drew Tortoriello – SIRM in New York “One daunting aspect of the cancer struggle is knowing that, if you survive, your life thereafter will likely be rocked by another massive struggle, the struggle to have a child of your own. We now have the technology to safely and quickly preserve the fertility of most cancer patients, and it seems like a horrible waste to let any such opportunities go by. This is honestly just a simple attempt to do some good for some people, and nothing would please me more than to see other facilities doing the same.”
Some Key facts:
• Of the estimated 1.5 million men and women who were diagnosed as having cancer in 2010, approximately 10% are younger than 45 years.
• SIRM has a long history of giving back and philanthropic activities – Fertility Rescue is in-line with their whole mission and vision
• The two leading cancer institutes in the world, National Cancer Institute and Mayo Clinic, both came out with papers in January 2011 urging oncologists to encourage fertility preservation
• Only 46 percent of oncologists report referring patients for fertility preservation.
• SIRM quietly launched this week with two NYC cancer patients that needed treatment ASAP.
• This is truly a “gift” from the Doctors as their time is the significant investment from SIRM
• The core idea was to put their egg freezing technology to philanthropic use
• SIRM will begin rolling-out this program this month at all SIRM clinics entitled “Fertility Rescue”
• Oncologists are typically wanting to start treatment asap for younger patients and egg/sperm freezing is not a long process
• More and more people are surviving cancer and they should have the right to plan for a future family