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Breast Cancer Awareness Month & Fertility Preservation Options

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Pink Ribbon

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to shed light on the need to educate reproductive-age breast cancer patients about preserving their fertility.

One out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. This diagnosis can be devastating and frightening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 11% of all breast cancer diagnoses occur in women under 45. Some of these women may not have started or completed their families.

It’s reassuring that breast cancer is being detected earlier because of better screening techniques, and treatments are giving patients greater odds of surviving long-term and cancer-free

As fertility specialists, we want to ensure that patients don’t lose the ability to have children because of these life-saving cancer treatments. CACRM offers egg freezing and embryo freezing to preserve fertility when faced with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Oocyte (Egg) Cryopreservation

Using the flash-freezing vitrification method, the IVF lab will freeze eggs and or embryos before she the patient starts cancer treatment.

Blastocyst Embryo Freezing

Breast cancer patients who have a male partner or have chosen a sperm donor can choose to create embryos. The patient will first undergo an egg retrieval. The retrieved eggs will be combined with the designated sperm to form embryos and grown to the blastocyst stage of development at days five or six. The embryos may be tested by PGT-A (pre-implantation genetic testing) before being frozen.

A patient’s chances of becoming pregnant with a thawed frozen blastocyst embryo are not affected by the length of time the embryo has been stored.

Vitrification

The vitrification method is used for both eggs and embryos. It is an ultrarapid process that is so fast that it literally allows no time for intracellular ice to form, thus avoiding damage to the egg or the embryo.  As a result, vitrification avoids trauma to the embryo or egg cell.

Vitrified embryos have a greater than 90% freeze-thaw survival rate, and a pregnancy rate that is comparable to or greater than using fresh embryos.

Vitrification is available at CACRM for both eggs and embryos.  CACRM has been performing vitrification successfully for many years. Cryopreservation or “freezing” involves storing vitrified eggs or embryos at a very low temperature in order to preserve them so they may be thawed and used at a later date.

In 2021, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an occasion to educate the public about how the ability to have a baby does not end with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Fertility specialists can offer viable preservation options for women confronted with this serious medical condition.

Learn more about how we can help: https://cacrm.com/genetic-services/fertility-preservation/

#BreastCancerAwarenessMonth2021

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