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FERTILITY PRESERVATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR ONCOLOGY PATIENTS IN THE US: A REVIEW OF THE FACTORS INVOLVED IN PATIENT DECISION MAKING

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The field of oncofertility addresses issues of infertility in oncology patients. Even though this field has integrated professionals from multiple disciplines, a significant amount of research still needs to be carried out to understand the factors involved in patients' access to fertility preservation technologies, the worries and concerns of cancer patients and survivors, and the strategies used to deal with fertility transformations. The purpose of this article is to present a review of the existing social research on oncofertility, discuss notable gaps in knowledge, and identify future areas of study. We examine the relationship between common medical treatments used to treat cancer and their effects on fertility; available fertility preservation technologies; the social, political, cultural, and economic factors involved in medical care, patient decision making, and access to technological procedures; and existing guidelines and organizations in the US that focus on patient information and advocacy. This review seeks to encourage researchers to bring patient experience to the forefront of oncofertility research and consider the factors that continue to hinder their access to the technologies required to safeguard their fertility.
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Keywords: Fertility preservation; Guidelines; Oncofertility; Patient decision making; Social barriers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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