4.1 Fertility Preservation and Cancer Patients

Your Personal Care Team at New Hope will work with you and your oncology team to coordinate care and design a tailored treatment plan. Many of the fertility treatments outlined in this handbook are available to patients who are survivors of various types of cancer or are looking to preserve their fertility prior to undergoing cancer treatment.

New Hope offers gentle stimulation techniques to aid in fertility preservation through oocyte or embryo cryopreservation. From the start of stimulation to banking, the process usually lasts three to four weeks and facilitates a speedy return to all other necessary treatments. A combination of Femara or Tamoxifen with gonadotropin injections has proven safe and effective in such protocols (drug information below).

We require the approval of your treating oncologist and ask that you provide all medical records pertaining to your cancer treatment including surgical and biopsy reports, as well as pathology reports and any tumor marker tests.

Femara
(letrozole)
Use: An aromatase inhibitor used in the treatment of breast cancer. One of the effects of inhibiting aromatase is the stimulation of hormones which then induce oocyte development.
How it works: Femara blocks the production of estrogen, therefore the body receives fewer growth signals and cancer growth can be slowed or stopped. Decreased estrogen levels also cause the release of FSH and LH which stimulates follicular development and ovulation.
Side effects: Hot flashes, headache, loss of appetite, weight gain, general body discomfort, weakness, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea.
Tamoxifen
(nolvadex)
Use: Tamoxifen is used in the treatment of breast cancer to delay recurrence. By blocking hormones which may stimulate cancer recurrence, hormones that stimulate the ovaries are produced.
How it works: Tamoxifen blocks the actions of estrogen causing the release of FSH and LH. FSH and LH stimulate follicular development and ovulation.
Side effects: Bone pain, constipation, decreased sex drive or difficulty achieving orgasm, headache, redness or skin changes, coughing, hot flashes, muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, vaginal discharge and weight loss.