With cancer survival rates increasing, new directions have focused on issues of survivorship, with an intense focus on quality of life. One area gaining increased attention is fertility preservation and issues regarding future parenthood among cancer survivors. While cancer treatments are often life saving, more than half of all patients undergoing treatment will become infertile. Odds of infertility vary by cancer site, treatment agent, age, and disease stage. Although medical options for fertility preservation exist, most are not well understood by healthcare professionals or patients. Moreover, the short- and long-term psychosocial needs of these patients can be complex and at times, overwhelming. This course discusses how to facilitate communication information about fertility preservation and associated concerns with newly diagnosed cancer patients of childbearing age. An overview of the current fertility preservation options/guidelines, patients' psychosocial needs, common barriers to communication and ethical implications, is presented with a focus on the role of the mental health professional in this context.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours and ASWB Clinical CE clock hours. NYSED CEs are NOT approved for this online course.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Identify the relevance of this topic in cancer care and the established methods of fertility preservation for males (sperm banking/sperm cryopreservation; testicular sperm extraction; testicular tissue freezing) and females (embryo freezing; Oocyte freezing; Ovarian tissue freezing; Ovarian Transposition).
- Describe at least 6 common psychosocial themes among newly diagnosed patients of childbearing age who may consider fertility preservation.
- Recognize and address at least 4 provider- and patient-based barriers that inhibit the discussion of fertility preservation and other relevant issues (e.g., financial, healthcare system-related) with newly diagnosed cancer patients.
- Utilize the ‘ABCDE’ technique to navigate the ethical issues inherent to discussion of fertility preservation and related issues.