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Cancer Patient Satisfaction Rises With Improved Information Sharing

When the diagnosis is cancer most patients have so many decisions to make, they don’t necessarily have a chance to stop and think about the long-term ramifications of treatment. This can be especially so for younger patients in regard to fertility issues. Researchers are finding, however, that taking pause to make sure patients are fully informed about their fertility options can make a very big difference when it comes to patient satisfaction.

That finding comes from a study that involved patients at a facility where a cancer and fertility program was initiated. A group of patients was surveyed about their experiences before the program was kicked off and another group was queried after it had been established. Patients in both study groups were about two years out from diagnosis and suffered from such cancers as breast, testicular and lymphoma.

The study ultimately found that men, overall, were satisfied with the information they received about fertility in either scenario. However, they were more satisfied with the information they were able to obtain on sperm banking and other fertility preservation options after the formal program began. For women, satisfaction was much higher overall after the program began. They especially appreciated that the program was able to provide information on fertility risks, preservation options and how to find a reproductive endocrinologist, researchers said.

The study sheds light on the need for open communication between cancer patients and their healthcare providers. When patients are in their child-bearing years, special attention paid to the topic of fertility preservation can prove important to long-term patient satisfaction, the study shows. While it may not always be possible to preserve fertility, patients can still benefit from advice related to other family planning options that may still be available to them.

People who are diagnosed with cancer are urged to talk with their doctors about all risks and benefits associated with treatments. If fertility is a concern, there may be help available to ensure a dream for a family is preserved while cancer is effectively beaten.

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