There’s a reason breast cancer patients often hear, “You are not alone.”Breast cancer is the most common cancer, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, among women in this country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds nearly 203,000 women were diagnosed with the disease in 2007, which is the most recent year numbers are available. For some patients, diagnosis carries an even larger burden—worries that life-saving treatment now might prevent the ability to have a child in the future. Our team of physicians at the Fertility & IVF Center understands those concerns, and uses the latest technology to give patients more choices and greater hope than ever before.
Because each patient is different, counseling and treatment is highly-individualized. Options range from shielding ovaries from radiation, to taking proactive measures before chemotherapy could impact fertility. One of the most recent and significant developments for patients involves freezing a woman’s eggs. As opposed to frozen embryos, which also require sperm, eggs can be frozen by any woman to be used at any time.
Another concern of some breast cancer patients is that they don’t want to pass along the same BRCA gene which has affected their lives to their children. Some families closely screen their daughters as they grow, but others don’t want to have that worry consistently looming in the back of their minds. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis evaluates embryos before implantation to ensure they don’t carry the BRCA gene. With this screening, the risk of developing breast cancer becomes equal to that of the general population. That shift can be life-changing for families that have had generation after generation of breast cancer. Dr. David Frankfurter says, “There’s a hope that cancer isn’t something that’s part of their legacy. This is something that can be removed so that families can focus on what they want to pass on to their children.” Our team can provide the information and support to help patients make these important decisions for their own families.
First center in the District of Columbia