Fertility Preservation Options for Cancer Patients Discussed at FSOSW Meeting

April 26, 2012 - The Florida Society of Oncology Social Workers held its regional meeting on April 26, where the main focus was Fertility Preservation options for Cancer patients. This month's program strives to promote education and extend access to fertility preservation services.

ReproTech, Ltd., a cryobank specializing in long-term storage of human reproductive tissue (sperm, eggs, embryos and ovarian and testicular tissue), was invited to speak on the topic of fertility preservation for oncology patients.

ReproTech Site Director Heather Cummins reports "ReproTech has included fertility preservation awareness and education as one of our main goals for the past few years through our Fertility Preservation Network and the distribution of our educational materials. With the increase in cancer survivors and ongoing advancements in ART, it is essential that oncology professionals discuss fertility preservation options with all of their patients upon cancer diagnosis. I am excited to offer oncology teams the information and resources that will assist them in fertility preservation discussions with their patients".

Cummins addressed FSOSW members and staff at Cleveland Clinic's Weston, FL medical center in her ongoing effort to provide education on fertility preservation options for cancer patients such as sperm banking, embryo and egg freezing and ovarian and testicular tissue freezing. ReproTech's goal is to educate, as well as to increase communications and collaboration between members of oncology healthcare teams.

"We are proud to have an industry leader such as ReproTech address our members on fertility preservation needs and resources for cancer patients. Patients' fertility is a very important concern, and this information is essential to enable social workers and oncology teams to provide the best care for our patients," says FSOSW Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Co-Regional Coordinator Bettye Bradshaw, LCSW.

According to the American Cancer Society, 140,000 American men and women under 45 are newly diagnosed with cancer each year. Once diagnosed, there is a small window of time for them to preserve their fertility; therefore, access to cryopreservation services is extremely important. ReproTech, Ltd. has organized its Fertility Preservation Network to educate oncology professionals and caretakers, as well as provide the much needed cryopreservation services. The network now includes members in 33 states and the Caribbean. Additionally, the work of organizations such as fertileHOPE and LiveSTRONG has advanced the awareness of the need for Fertility Preservation among the oncology community.

The Florida Society of Oncology Social Workers (FSOSW) is a state-wide organization for professional Social Workers, nurses, administrators, educators , researchers and other paraprofessionals. The organization's primary functions include maintaining the standards of oncology social work practice, offering professional education programs, and providing a valuable network of resource services to its members.

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