New Hope For Fertility In Breast Cancer Patients - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

New Hope For Fertility In Breast Cancer Patients

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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Amy Richards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 just after her birthday. Now in remission, she credits having her ten-year-old son and continuing their routine helped her get through treatment.

But now she’s feeling the itch to be mom again.

“I would like to have another one. I would,” said Richards, “All my friends are having babies and I’m just like, ‘Ah, I want your baby!’ There’s just something infectious about their little feet, the smell.”

For women battling breast cancer, the lifesaving treatments come at the cost of having a child of their own.

There’s no getting pregnant while on breast cancer medications, and chemotherapy can cause premature ovary failure. There are two main solutions: Freezing eggs and freezing embryos, and both come with pros and cons.

A new study examined a different treatment for infertility in breast cancer patients.

“With a simple injection called goserelin, also known as zoladex, when given monthly at the same time when you’re receiving chemotherapy, you may increase your chances of fertility at a later date,” said Dr. Aleksandar Jankov, Medical Oncologist at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

It essentially stops the ovary functions temporarily, saving them from damage.

“It will give you a chance to, once the chemotherapy stops, you stop the shots then your ovaries will kick start again successfully,” said Jankov.

There were 275 patients who participated in the study; one group received the shot during chemotherapy and the other group went through treatment as normal.

As for the premature ovary failure, which often means early menopause, 22-percent in the control group experienced ovary failure and eight-percent in the group that received the new treatment.

When it came to pregnancy, Jankov said, “Treatment in the standard control arm, only 11-percent of patients reported delivering healthy babies while in the experimental arm, 21-percent of patients reported delivering healthy babies.”

Richards is thrilled at this new prospect, but said she will still be happy with life even if things swing the other way for her and she enters early menopause.

“I start getting to go through hot flashes an all that fun stuff, pouring cold water on my face, getting to that fun stuff, well then that’s the way I’m supposed to go; you just roll with it,” she said, pausing, “I hope it’ll go the other way.”

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