Moore Discusses Balancing Breast Cancer Treatment and Fertility


Halle Moore, MD, discusses some of the main concerns that patients with breast cancer have about fertility after treatment.

Halle Moore, MD, director of breast medical oncology in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, discusses some of the main concerns that patients with breast cancer have about fertility after treatment.

Here, she also highlights the role of assisted reproductive technologies in helping patients with breast cancer achieve pregnancy.


0:09 | Particularly for women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer, fertility is complicated. So some of these patients will receive chemotherapy, which can directly affect the ovaries and impair the future fertility, and then the vast majority of patients with hormone-sensitive breast cancer are going to be recommended to have some sort of long-term hormonal-based treatment. Typically, these are given from 5 to 10 years. So if you are diagnosed with breast cancer in your early 30s, undergo these treatments, you may be in the 40 ish range by the time you are done with your treatment. And historically, the recommendation had been to wait until after completion of all treatment before attempting pregnancy. So simply by aging, fertility prospects go down.

1:06 | So it is exciting to learn that there may be an option to interrupt the treatment after just a couple of years of treatment, to attempt pregnancy with the goal of getting back onto the hormonal treatment to complete the course of therapy.

1:24 | Especially for those that are going to be undergoing chemotherapy, it is important that we try to keep as many options open as possible. So, if possible, it is always preferable to try to store eggs or embryos that are collected before chemotherapy, while fertility should be very good. This can be done after chemotherapy treatment at a time when an individual wishes to become pregnant, but the stores in the ovaries may not be as good, so it may be more difficult to collect at that time. So the earlier we think about these, as we are planning out our initial treatment, the better the prospects are.

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