Helping Fertility Centers Provide Family-Building Options For Cancer Patients

Fertility health care professionals face unique challenges when working with cancer patients. Some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can affect a patient’s fertility. People need to know what family-building options are available to them.

LIVESTRONG offers the following suggestions, clinical tools and resources to help fertility centers provide cancer patients with information about preservation, family-building options and assistance programs. We can help you guide your cancer patients through this important journey.

Together, oncology and fertility health care professionals can help cancer patients receive the information they need to have the most family-building options available to them – now and in the future.

Process for Discussing Fertility Preservation Options With Cancer Patients

The following chart shows a process for discussing fertility preservation options with cancer patients, before, during or after their cancer treatment.

Fertility Professional Algorithm for Assessing Cancer Patients

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Additionally, the tools and resources described below can assist you in informing cancer patients about fertility options and support resources available to them, including financial aid.

Assessing Fertility Risks

If your patient has not yet begun cancer treatment, use the LIVESTRONG Fertility Risks Tool to get an idea of the potential fertility risks the patient faces.

For more details about common cancer treatments that may impact reproductive function, see these at-a-glance charts: Fertility Risks for Men and Women.

Providing Fertility Preservation Options

At any stage in cancer treatment (before, during or after), you can use the resources below to help identify a patient’s fertility preservation options. Be sure to collaborate with your patient’s oncologist before providing possible options.

  • The LIVESTRONG Family-Building Options Tool provides customized information about fertility preservation options based on the individual patient and cancer treatment plan.
  • These printable charts show the same fertility options at a glance: Family-Building Options for Men and Women.

You can offer the following articles to your patients to begin educating themselves:

After providing your patient with these initial sources of information about preservation options, consult with your patient’s oncologist again about the cancer treatment plan and timeline. Together with the oncologist, you can create a fertility preservation plan that includes ongoing communicating and collaboration.

Financial Assistance and Other Support Services

If your patient is interested in pursuing fertility preservation, discuss the logistics and costs involved for each option. At this point, your patient may want to find out about resources for financial support or additional information.

The online Fertility Resource Guide is a searchable database of health care professionals and support organizations for those dealing with cancer. It includes information about financial assistance, adoption services and legal resources. Use this tool to help your patients continue learning about and planning their family-building options.

LIVESTRONG Fertility Services provides free support and education to those whose cancer treatments present the risk of infertility. Eligible patients can get connected with fertility centers and apply for financial assistance programs for certain family-building options.

Join the LIVESTRONG Fertility Program

We invite your fertility center or sperm bank to partner with us in bringing fertility options to those facing cancer. The goal of the LIVESTRONG Fertility Program is to increase access to fertility preservation services and treatments for qualified women and men who are diagnosed with cancer during their reproductive years. The program connects these men and women to discounted fertility preservation services and medications before beginning treatment.

  • Download the LIVESTRONG Fertility for Men - Manual
  • Download the LIVESTRONG Fertility - Application for Centers for Men
  • Download the LIVESTRONG Fertility for Women - Manual
  • Download the LIVESTRONG Fertility - Application for Centers for Women

Participating centers agree to provide a discounted rate on egg freezing, embryo freezing and/or sperm banking services to cancer patients who meet diagnosis, treatment and income criteria. The LIVESTRONG Fertility Program connects cancer patients to participating centers when they are interested in pursuing preservation and facilitates the entire patient application and approval process.

The program does not grant direct financial contributions to individuals. Instead, the LIVESTRONG Foundation has partnered with key organizations to increase access to procedures and treatments intended to preserve the possibility of fertility for qualified cancer patients. A limited quantity of certain medications will be provided through a donation from EMD Serono, Inc to qualified female applicants.