Eggs storage ensure cancer patient will have family
Renji Hospital has successfully stored 26 eggs for a 29-year-old young woman with lymphoma, ensuring she will be able to have children in the future.
The woman found a lump on her neck in June which a local hospital suspected was lymphoma. She went to the Shanghai Cancer Center for further diagnosis and treatment.
Doctors at the cancer center confirmed the disease and said the treatment outcome would be positive. But the patient's ovarian function would receive irreversible damage during chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy and radiation can cause an earlier apoptosis of eggs, making some patients lose fertility completely and even early aging and menopause, doctors said.
Oncologists suggested the patient visit a reproductive medicine center for a consultation.
With the help of doctors at Shanghai Cancer Center, she was transferred to Renji Hospital's reproductive medicine center for fertility preservation.
Renji's doctors made a plan for the patient's egg preservation while not influencing her lymphoma treatment.
Doctors made a detailed plan for bleeding and infection prevention and control during egg collection.
The process ran smoothly, as doctors collected and froze 26 eggs for the patient. She plans to start a family after treatment.
Due to the change of life style, environment and development of medical technologies, the incidence of benign and malignant tumors keep rising and there are more young patients including some children. However, the five-year survival, which means clinical recovery, also improves.
Many tumor patients want to have their own children after the disease is stabilized or cured.
However, treatments like chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, certain medications and surgeries can cause influence and even destroy patients' fertility, said Dr Sun Yun from Renji Hospital's reproductive medicine center.
"A good tendency is that both oncologists and young tumor patients start to get rid of a misunderstanding that 'saving life and then saving fertility'," she said.
"An effective patient transfer mechanism has been established between oncologists and reproductive medicine doctors, who can give timely fertility-preserving revaluation and operation for young patients with the demand.
"There is a golden time window before cancer treatment for young patients. Without influencing cancer treatment, we can offer suitable fertility preservation plan and kick off the process immediately to 'save the previous seeds of life' for such patients."
According to experts, fertility preservation includes egg and sperm storage, embryo storage and ovarian tissue storage.