The Institut Marquès, an international reference center in Assisted Reproduction and member of Top Doctors, has organized “Pregnancy by art in cancer survivors: a growing social need”, a course that will take place tomorrow June 14 at the headquarters of the Institut Marquès in Barcelona. This is a special course for European gynecologists organized by international experts in Oncology, Gynecology and Assisted Reproduction.
International Course on Cancer and Assisted Reproduction
During the course, the different treatments available for women who have suffered from cancer, to enable them to become mothers, will be discussed. Other significant data will also be highlighted, such as the fact that 85% of women under 50 years of age overcome the disease.
According to data from the Institut Marquès, the average age of the patients is 40 years. The most frequent cancer is breast cancer, with 35%, followed by blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma (29%) and, in third place, ovarian cancer, with 14%.
On the other hand, another important fact reveals that, when one of these women seeks advice to become a mother, an average of 8 years usually pass from the time of the cancer diagnosis.
“Being a mother” is not valued by the majority of women who have suffered from cancer
The possibility of becoming a mother is an aspect that is not valued by most women who have suffered cancer and have received cancer treatment to overcome it. However, Institut Marquès has a specialized Reproductive Counseling Unit with the aim of guiding these patients on their chances of becoming a mother after cancer treatment.
Dra. Marisa López-Teijón, director of Institut Marquès, explains that “despite all the advances, when there is a diagnosis of cancer, it is often forgotten that tomorrow, when the disease is cured, women may want to become mothers and the focus is placed on the risks of recurrence of the disease during pregnancy”.
“More and more women have to win two battles. The first, against the cancer, and the second, against the impediments often put up by the medical teams and their closest environment, which insists that they should not take the risk of pregnancy,” she adds. She also warns that at the Institut Marquès “we have been transmitting to the scientific community for years the message that women with a history of cancer who want to have a child should not be told “No because they can’t”.
What will a woman’s ability to become a mother after cancer depend on?
More and more women who have overcome cancer are coming to the specialized Reproductive Counseling Unit. Dr. Álex García-Faura, scientific director of the Institut Marquès and director of the specialized Reproductive Advice Unit, explains: “many will be able to have a child if they have successfully completed chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery treatment, but it is essential that their case is studied by a multidisciplinary team such as ours. This is the only way we can affirm that being a mother after cancer is safe”.
The data from the Reproductive Advice Unit support the good results: 89% of the patients evaluated are apt to begin a reproductive process. Moreover, 82% of them achieved a pregnancy with different treatments and 7 out of 10 became mothers within two years of their consultation, all of them being healthy. Dr. López-Teijón assures: “the experience of Institut Marquès shows that, if the previous evaluation approves, the risks are simply those of pregnancy”.
Normally, the fertility treatments followed by patients who have overcome cancer in order to become mothers are:
- Egg donation (84%).
- In vitro fertilization (3.9%)
- Embryo donation (11.7%).
Only 10% of the women had their eggs vitrified prior to treatment and 95% of the patients treated were foreigners.
Baby Beatles is an association to help women who have suffered breast cancer and want to become mothers. It is in charge of guiding women who have overcome cancer and also women who do not consider becoming mothers because of the disease.