Breast cancer is not common in younger women, with around 5,600 diagnoses in women under 45 every year. But the different needs of younger women with breast cancer are not always met, in particular fertility issues.
Some cancer treatments can affect a woman’s fertility, in some cases stopping them from having children in the future. Yet our 2014 survey suggests that most younger women are not offered a referral to specialists to talk about how they might preserve their fertility.
Eighty-eight per cent of younger women are not referred to a fertility clinic to discuss freezing eggs or embryos ahead of treatment.Breast Cancer Care Survey 2014
This means an estimated 5, 000 younger women with cancer may be missing out on fertility care. On top of that, 35% of younger women in our survey did not get any information about how treatment for breast cancer could affect their fertility.
What we want
- We want healthcare professionals to offer all younger breast cancer patients a referral to a fertility clinic at the point of diagnosis.
- We want to raise awareness among oncologists, surgeons and nurses of the need to discuss with their patients how treatment for breast cancer may affect their fertility.
- We want all breast cancer units to adopt our Standards of care for younger women with breast cancer.
How you can help
Read our Standards of care for younger women with breast cancer and share them with your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). CCGs need to know about these issues as they’re in charge of providing and funding many fertility and cancer services.
Sharing our Standards of care for younger women with breast cancer with your local CCG is quick and easy to do.
Simply fill in your details and add a personal message explaining to your CCG why you think it’s important that they adopt Breast Cancer Care’s Standards of care for younger women.