n.— «When a woman is diagnosed with cancer, the first priority is to save her life, said Teresa Woodruff, chief of the Feinberg School’s new fertility preservation division. Today, most patients will survive, but the potent treatments that attack malignant tumors and cells also can destroy the ability to have children. “The fertility docs are not used to treating sick people; the oncologists are not focused on anything beyond survival… so this is about breaking down those barriers,” said Woodruff, who coined the term oncofertility. “On the day of diagnosis, every cancer patient can be treated as a survivor, advised of her reproductive options from the very beginning.”» —“Fight cancer, save moms” by Bonnie Miller Rubin Chicago Tribune Sept. 6, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. The new field of Oncofertility, which functions through the Oncofertility Consortium, brings together professionals in the oncology, fertility, patient advocacy and social science communities to better understand the fertility concerns of cancer patients. New advances in cancer therapeutics have led to a steady increase in cancer survival rates; now is the time to address the quality-of-life issues that new cancer survivors face. This nationwide, interdisciplinary and interprofessional group is dedicated to the advancement of technologies that will provide improved fertility preserving options to cancer patients whose lifesaving treatments can threaten their fertility. Oncofertility researchers strive to address the scientific, clinical and psychosocial challenges that must be solved to expand the menu of options available to cancer patients and to raise consciousness among scientists, physicians and families about this critical quality-of-life issue.

  2. The term oncofertility is used to describe an emerging interdisciplinary approach to fertility preservation for young adults and children with a cancer diagnosis. The word connotes the duality of the goals and the treats – preserving life when those life preserving cancer treatments can be fertility threatening. Patients must be advised navigated quickly to appropriate options, new options, particularly for women, must be developed, and the decision-making around fertility threats in children understood.

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