Navigator Helps Patients Overcome Barriers to Onco-Fertility Treatment
Patients who face fertility loss from cancer treatment benefit from outreach to learn about their assisted reproduction options
by Eric Seaborg for Duke Health's Clinical Practice Today
Assisted reproduction technologies designed to counter potential fertility losses among cancer patients offer many new and innovative options, but only a minority of patients who might benefit take advantage of them.
The Duke Fertility Preservation Program is working to increase awareness of these options through greater outreach to both patients and potential referring providers, according to program director Kelly Acharya, MD. Acharya wants to communicate with more patients because evidence shows that just hearing about one’s care options eases a patient’s later regrets, whether or not the patient takes advantage of them.
As part of this outreach, the Duke Onco-Fertility Program brought on a patient navigator to help lower the barriers to access to care and increase awareness of fertility preservation innovations that often surprise both patients and providers.
“The patient navigator is a bridge between the patients and the providers, coordinating multiple aspects of that patient’s care. The navigator provides a centralized point of contact, which makes it easier for the oncology providers to refer patients,” Acharya says. CONTINUE READING
Onco-Fertility: Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can affect the ability to have a child because of the impact on eggs and sperm. Fertility experts at Duke Health can coordinate care with a cancer patient's oncologist for the best family planning outcomes.
To reach an oncofertility patient navigator, call 919.316.9935 or email OncoFertility@dm.duke.edu.