Posts Tagged ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’
If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, you probably have many questions and concerns about your health, treatment, and future. The good news is that with modern medical technology, losing your fertility isn’t something you need to worry about during this already stressful time.
Since chemotherapy may compromise your future fertility, we are now able to treat patients like you with a short course of fertility drugs and freeze your eggs, if you are single, or embryos, if you have a partner.
During our process designed specifically for breast cancer patients, you will only receive low levels of estrogen so that the course of your disease, recurrence and overall prognosis will not be affected. Fertility preservation treatment fits into the “window” of time between your surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy) and chemotherapy. We also work closely with your oncologist, as well as our program’s oncologist, to further ensure that our fertility preservation treatment does not negatively affect your cancer treatment.
Once you overcome your cancer, we can help you have children by thawing and transferring your eggs or embryos that have been frozen in time.
We understand that this is an extremely stressful time in your life, and that the costs of cancer treatment can be high. Because of this, we offer our fertility preservation services for cancer patients at a discounted rate and have partnered with FertileHope, part of the LIVESTRONG Foundation, to offer our patients fertility drugs free of charge.
For more information please call us at 516-562-BABY (2229) and ask to speak with a Fertility Preservation nurse. We look forward to helping you preserve your fertility and hope during this challenging time.
By: Avner Hershlag, MD- Director of the PGD Program
On the occasion of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to wish all of our patients who have survived breast cancer, and those who are currently battling breast cancer, a smooth recovery and a long, healthy life. We’d also like to illuminate some very exciting breakthroughs to help future generations live without the worry of genetic breast cancer.
Genetic breast cancer is transferred through the abnormal BRCA gene, which is responsible for 5-10% of all breast cancer cases under the age of 50. Through a process known as PGD, or Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, we are now able to identify the abnormal BRCA gene in your embryos and transfer to patients only embryos that do not possess the gene. Our specially trained embryologists will remove a cell (or cells) from each viable embryo (embryo biopsy). The genetics lab will determine which embryos do not have the abnormal BRCA gene and only healthy embryos will be transferred into the uterus.
Women who carry the abnormal gene are at an increased risk of breast cancer. Breast surgeons recommend that women with the abnormal BRCA gene should have a prophylactic double mastectomy. IVF with PGD offers an alternative for your daughters and even sons. Instead of having to go through the painful decision and process of having a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction, PGD will allow you to rid your child of the BRCA gene before birth.
More about the BRCA Gene:
• The BRCA gene is especially common in Ashkenazi Jews (2.5%)
• BRCA-1 is associated with lifetime risk:
- 1st Breast Cancer, 50-85%
- 2nd Breast Cancer, 40-60%
- Risk of ovarian cancer ranges from 20-45%
- BRCA-2 gene associated with similar risk
• It should be noted that male breast cancer occurs in more than 6% of cases
• We recommend that those with the BRCA gene mutation come in for a consultation to discuss having In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with PGD.
To determine whether you should consider genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations please click on the following link and scroll down to Q&A #6 http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA
A fascinating development in reproductive technology, PGD now provides an important tool to combat genetic misfortune. PGD may give you a peace of mind, knowing that you can provide your children with a future for that is free of genetic breast cancer and that you can spare them from the struggles you had to face.