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Getting Pregnant After Cancer


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Highlights from this Creating a Family radio show

What are the risks of attempting to get pregnant after cancer? Should you try? How long should you wait? What is the risk to the child and mother? Host Dawn Davenport interviewed two of the leading experts in the US on Pregnancy after Cancer: Dr. Jacqueline Jeruss, a breast surgeon and the Oncofertility Consortium's Clinical Co-Director of Oncology and an Assistant Professor within the Department of Surgery and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University; and Dr. Nicole Noyes, Reproductive Endocrinologist with NYU Fertility Center, Professor and the Director of Reproductive Surgery at the New York University School of Medicine and Medical Center, and President of the ASRM Special Interest Group on Fertility Preservation.

  • Should you attempt a pregnancy after being treated for cancer?
  • Does pregnancy increase a woman’s risk of cancer reoccurrence?
  • What about the 2012 study that found that pregnancy after cancer treatment actually protected a woman from a reoccurrence?
  • What is the general time frame that women should wait after cancer treatment before trying to get pregnant?
  • Does the time frame differ for men?
  • Are there any types of cancers where a woman should really not attempt a pregnancy?
  • How to preserve your fertility if you are diagnosed with cancer? How to pay for the treatment necessary to retrieve eggs for future IVF procedures after successfully treating the cancer?
  • Are pregnancies after cancer at a higher risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and low birth weight?
  • Are the children conceived after cancer treatment more at risk for birth defects?
  • Is it possible for woman who have had surgery for gynecological cancers, such as cervical cancer, to carry a baby to full term?
  • Can a woman who has been treated for ovarian cancer conceive?
  • Is fertility treatment always necessary for cancer survivors to get pregnant?
  • What type of infertility treatment is used for former cancer patients?
  • What types of cancers have a strong genetic cause?
  • Is it possible to test embryos for these genes using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and then achieve a pregnancy using in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
  • Should a woman who is being treated for breast cancer go off of tamoxifen in order to try to get pregnant and during the pregnancy? How to make this decision.
  • Are babies and fetuses exposed to roaming cancer cell that might have metastasized to the mother’s blood stream and not have been totally eradicated in cancer treatment?
  • Any reason that a woman with breast cancer, or other types of cancer, should not breastfeed, assuming of course, that she has not had a double mastectomy?
  • Is it possible for a woman who has been treated for breast cancer to breastfeed her baby?
  • Are there grants or funds to pay for a surrogate for those couples or women who cannot sustain a pregnancy?
  • While no one can make this decision for a woman, how does a couple weigh the risk of a reoccurrence and the possibility of bringing a child into the world that you will not be around to parent to adulthood?

Date: October 2, 2013

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Creating a Family and in particular your radio show has been a lifeline to me over the past 2+ years. In the privacy of my home/car I have been connected with others whose family-building has been challenged and I have had access to invaluable information from experts that have helped us make better decisions. Thank you! ~ S. Potter

Creating a Family was such a great resource for me throughout the adoption, I remember even blogging about it the first time I discovered the radio show because I was so excited! I continue to benefit from your the shows even now, one year post adoption. Thank you for the good and important work you are doing. ~ A. Oliver

I just wanted to say thank you so much for this resource, I just recently found it and I just happened to stumble upon it doing a google search.  It has been hugely helpful!!!! We've been looking into foster care and adoption and listening to the various radio shows relating to those topics have really helped us know what to do and what to expect..more  ~J. Joy

I just wanted to stop in and say a quick thank you for all the support and information you provide the adoption/infertility community... I also am a "research junkie", and your blogs & podcasts have been an invaluable source for us on our journey to grow our family. more ~ E. Meyer

I wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful things you do. We brought our beautiful baby boy home from the hospital on April 2nd. While we waited for an adoption match and then waited for his birth, your podcast and website were a continuous reminder that we were part of an amazing adoption community. It really helped us not feel alone.  ~Sarah S.

I listen to your radio shows daily on my iPod while cleaning, exercising, driving etc. I've learned so much from it, that today in the foster- adopt support group I felt like an all knowing expert, despite the fact, that I have zero experience in the field. Thank you for a wonderful resource! I am spreading the word. ~G. Longley

Thank you so much for your radio show! I was just listening to it, and it's very informative. My husband and I are in the process of adoption, so we read a lot to be able to make informed decisions. Your website is a great resource for us! ~N.M.W.

“I learned more from this show than from two Reproductive Endocrinologist and all my own research. I appreciate the professionals you have on your show.” ~ L. Upton

I LOVE your show, it's the most helpful, unbiased information I’ve found about infertility and adoption and I'm so thankful for you and your organization. Keep up the fantastic work, you are changing lives. ~ Amanda

So I would like to introduce to you....Z. V.. She is now 11 weeks old. She came from a lovely perfect little frozen embryo, from our 4th round of IVF (2 fresh cycles and 2 FET)...more  ~A. Houston

I'm just writing to say that I've downloaded another bunch of your podcasts onto my iPhone and while I listen to them on my daily commute I silently
thank you for doing such a good job and conducting such brilliant interviews!!!...
more   ~G. Marino

Although you don't know us from Adam, I wanted to drop a line and thank you for the amazing info, sound advice, and encouragement you offer to adoptive and prospective adoptive parents.  We just received our pre-approval for our daughter, W, from China!  You (in book, website, blog, and podcast form) have been there every step of the way in this journey.  ~ J. & C. Morningstar

I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you how much I love your show. I recently got an iPhone and have been listening to them on iTunes. Your "What Adopted Teens Want Their Parents to Know" session was amazing!!!          ~A. Watson

My husband and I are parents through adoption to THE three most incredible children in the world. All via newborn domestic transracial.  I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from your web site.  I often refer potential adoptive parents who ask me for advice to your site. I especially enjoy your radio shows and today’s show on "Knowing When to Move from Infertility to Adoption" particularly resonated with me. ~N. Ferrari

I have loved, loved this radio show. It has been hands down the most helpful resource on this often painful and confusing journey. ~ R. Butler

I have been listening to lots of your radio shows of late. Great guests and very enlightening always. Thanks so much for keeping us up with the latest.  ~ W. & M. Welch

I just wanted you to know what a tremendous resource and blessing your podcasts have been to my wife and I as we prepare to travel early next month to pick up our new 17 month old son from Colombia...more
~ M. & L. Oakes

I just wanted to share my story since Creating a Family pod casts were so helpful to me when I was infertile. It really helped knowing I wasn't alone and could get the most updated information on my condition. I am almost 32 years old and I have been trying to get pregnant for 6 long years...more ~ J. Mendenhall


You are the REAL DEAL—Thank you for your guidance, radio show, information, knowledge, resources, care & wisdom to know what is needed when.     ~ S. Miller 

We are awaiting the arrival of our child from Ethiopia. I recently took a road trip and downloaded 9 hours of the Creating a Family podcasts and listened to them all. I learned so much. Thanks.        ~J. Madine 

Just home from adopting our son in Colombia. He and we are doing great. Your site and especially podcasts were a tremendous resource to us personally, as well as for a reason we didn't ever expect...more  

~ M. and L. Oakes




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