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J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2005;(34):98-100.

Research promoting better patient education on reproductive health after cancer.

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Department of Behavioral Science, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd.-243, Houston, TX 77030-4009, USA.


Although research on cancer survivors' experiences and attitudes about infertility is relatively new, existing literature suggests that only about half of men and women of childbearing age receive the information they need from their health care providers at the time of diagnosis and treatment planning. Thus, better patient education strategies are needed. Although the ideal would be to have oncologists conduct detailed discussions of options to preserve or restore fertility with all interested patients, this standard is unrealistic. A more practical alternative is to train nonphysician providers such as nurses and social workers to address this topic. In addition, innovative strategies of direct patient education could be helpful, including use of computerized media, peer counseling, or special educational modules tailored to a particular age group or cancer site.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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