* Author Topic: IVF after breast cancer (advising a friend)  (Read 2139 times)

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Offline kazzzee

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A very good friend of mine has asked my opinion about whether she should accept the round of IVF the NHS is offering her following cancer treatment.

She is recovering from breast cancer, in fact the breast cancer was discovered when she and her OH were taking clomid and in the initial stages of IVF on the NHS.

Unfortunately when the cancer cropped up they were badly advised and missed out on the opportunity to harvest any eggs first. So they opted for radiotherapy rather than chemo as they were told that would give them more of a chance of having a child.

They have been told there is no option for adoption because of the cancer diagnosis.

They kicked up a fuss about being ill-advised prior to cancer treatment and finally the NHS have agreed to give them one IVF cycle despite her turning 41 in March next year.

My advice so far to her has been to work on improving egg quality - I'm a fan of the book "It starts with an egg". The fact that she's had breast cancer suggests to me that she will have been affected by oestrogen in the environment. (Although it wasn't a cancer related to oestrogen - which I know is significant factor in the IVF because taking more oestrogen could cause it to rear up again if that was the case)

Second, I've suggested that she will need immune treatment. Another factor is that she has rheumatoid arthritis which is a big indicator that she will have immune issues, it's an autoimmune disease after all. I know our local hospital doesn't do immune treatment, but I'm wondering if they would allow her to have immune treatment separately. Or if she could just do that without telling them...

Third, personally I think if she really wants this she needs to go private as she doesn't have a lot of time to play with. I had IVF with ARGC and it worked out for me, I want to recommend the same to her, but it's expensive if her chances are slim to start with. Then again a NHS round, assuming it happened relatively quickly, would give her the experience and teach her what works and what doesn't, which will help the private doctors.

Another option I've mentioned to her previously is donor eggs. I know she wants to try her own eggs first, but it's an option if her's have been affected by the cancer treatment. She'd still need the immune treatment.

And there's one other thing to mention, her partner is 50+ however in their previous fertility investigations his swimmers were fine, so that's good!

So, what do you guys think I should advise?



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    Offline miamiamo

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    IVF after breast cancer (advising a friend)
    « Reply #1 on: 19/11/15, 16:26 »
    hi kazzzee, I am sorry your friend has a rough time. For sure I agree with you on immune treatment. Personally me in favour of herbs and non conventional medicine. And as  far as a fertililty centre- perfect option is a fertility clinic  where she can shuttle  between an infertility specialist and oncologist, if needs.

    Offline Raechi

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    IVF after breast cancer (advising a friend)
    « Reply #2 on: 15/04/16, 17:16 »
    Hi,
    I am another breast cancer lady - and am curious as to the treatment your friends has had. Has she not had surgery - just rads? Did she have an onco DX test and was told that chemo would not be beneficial or has she gone against the advice of her medic?
    If she didnt have chemo her eggs would not be affected anyway, so she should be in good shape there.
    She would need to know the histology of the cancer type. My cancer was ER positive and my oncologist was adamant I needed to be on hormone therapy for at least 2 years before trying for a baby.
    I think there are a lot of unknowns here, she may want a baby - but with the meds that are involved with IVF I am sure she is fully aware of the risks.
    I wish her lots of luck.

    Offline Raechi

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    IVF after breast cancer (advising a friend)
    « Reply #3 on: 15/04/16, 17:18 »
    And in addition - you are allowed to adopt post cancer - you just need to be cancer free for a period of time :)

    Offline simone546

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    IVF after breast cancer (advising a friend)
    « Reply #4 on: 17/05/16, 14:23 »
    I second that. I have a friend who adopted 6 years after stage 3 cancer. Xxx