NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults - page 30

30
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Version 2013
Part 3: Preparing for the future
Setting your priorities
Fertility preservation is all about keeping your options
open. Whether you know you eventually want to have
children or aren’t really sure at the moment, reproductive
specialists and the members of an oncofertility team
can help you sort through what’s important to you and
understand your options.
Depending on the type of cancer you have and the
specialists available in your area, your oncofertility team
could include:
Your
oncologist
, who should start the conversation
about cancer-related infertility and help you
understand your risks;
A
nurse navigator
or
case manager
who will help
you navigate the referral process, coordinate the
various specialists involved in your care, and help
deal with insurance companies;
An
endocrinologist/reproductive specialist
who
specializes in fertility and cancer and can explain
your fertility preservation options—including how
they are done, success rates, timing, and costs.
Often he or she will also be the one who will carry
out the fertility-sparing procedure;
A
genetics counselor
who can assess your risk of
passing on genetic abnormalities to your children;
A
gynecologist
(for women) or
urologist
(for men)
to assess your risk of infertility and guide you in
addressing your fertility needs;
A
gynecologic oncologist
(for women) who
specializes in female cancers. He or she is often
a surgeon and may be the one to perform fertility-
sparing surgery, if needed;
A
family-planning specialist
who can provide
information on the many different options for
becoming a parent;
An
adoption professional
who can provide
information and counseling on the process of
becoming an adoptive parent, include criteria, timing,
and costs; and
A
social worker
or
mental health counselor
who
can provide emotional support and counseling as
you consider your fertility options.
Before you make a decision about how—or if—to
preserve your fertility, you will need to define your
priorities when it comes to becoming a parent. If you’re in
a serious relationship, you should involve your partner in
this discussion. If you’re younger and have never given
much thought to having kids, you may want to talk with
your parents. Crucial questions to consider include:
Have you always wanted children?
How many children do you want to have?
Does it matter if your children are biologically related
to you?
How do you feel about adoption?
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