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Review

Cancer and fertility preservation: fertility preservation in breast cancer patients

Theodoros Maltaris12*, Michael Weigel2, Andreas Mueller3, Marcus Schmidt1, Rudolf Seufert1, Franz Fischl1, Heinz Koelbl1 and Ralf Dittrich3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz University Hospital, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55124 Mainz, Germany

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Leopoldina Hospital, Gustav-Adolf-Str. 8, 97421 Schweinfurt, Germany

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erlangen University Hospital, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Universitaetsstr. 21–23, 91054 Erlangen, Germany

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Breast Cancer Research 2008, 10:206  doi:10.1186/bcr1991

Published: 29 April 2008

Abstract

Aggressive chemotherapy has improved the life expectancy for reproductive-age women with breast cancer, but it often causes infertility or premature ovarian failure due to destruction of the ovarian reserve. Many questions concerning fertility preservation in breast cancer patients remain unanswered – for example, whether fertility preservation methods interfere with chemotherapy, and whether subsequent pregnancy has negative effects on the prognosis. Fertility preservation is a critical factor in decision-making for younger breast cancer patients, however, and clinicians should address this. The present article reviews the incidence of chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea, and discusses fertility-preservation options and the prognosis for patients who become pregnant after breast cancer.