Friday, June 15, 2012
Medical Reports: Fertile Future
Getting a cancer diagnosis is hard enough but many doctors aren't telling younger patients the other bad news. The same treatments that can kill the cancer could also steal their chances of having a family. 7s Lynn Martinez show us how cancer patients can still have a Fertile Future.
WSVN -- When doctors told 36-year-old Gira Medina that she had breast cancer. They failed to mention the same treatments meant to save her life could also leave her infertile.
Gira Medina: "The oncologist was concerned about the cancer because that's his job to focus on the cancer itself."
Gira found out from research on the internet the side effects of chemo and radiation would most likely prevent her from ever having a child.
Gira Medina: "That was the most devastating news I got. More so than getting cancer. I've always wanted kids."
Even though doctors were pushing the young woman to start treatment right away, Gira went to the South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine where she found out she could freeze her eggs allowing her to later have a family.
Dr. Maria Bustello, "We give the women a number of medications that basically stimulate the ovaries to make multiple eggs. Mature eggs are collected and then they are frozen that day. They can be kept forever."
Gira Medina: "Breast cancer is not death anymore. I'm thinking of the future."
Many oncologists don't talk to patients about ways to save their fertility before they start treatment. Fort Lauderdale resident Jason Rossie hopes to change that with a new non-profit organization called Rhea of Hope.
Jason Rossie: "It's very important to raise that awareness, and to let people know that although a cancer diagnosis is traumatic. There are steps that you can take to protect your fertility."
Rhea of Hope is building a staff of experts all over the world who aim to educate doctors and patients.
Jason Rossie: "We can connect them with one of our experts or put them in touch with a fertility expert from their state."
And most importantly they want to help with the heavy financial burden of fertility treatments.
Jason Rossie: "Raise enough funds so that we can actually compensate these families and help them when they can not afford to pay for these treatments."
Gira says Rhea of Hope's work is critical for young cancer patients like her. She was happy she found out in time and was able to take steps to ensure her Fertile Future.
Gira Medina: "I'm going to beat breast cancer, and I'm going to have kids."
Lynn Martinez: "And it's not just women, there are also fertility options like sperm banking for men diagnosed with cancer. For more information on how to get help from Rhea of Hope or to donate, log on to our web site and click on Medical."
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