The need for reproductive and sexual health discussions with adolescent and young adult cancer patients

Devin Murphy, James L. Klosky, Amanda Termuhlen, Kelly K. Sawczyn, Gwendolyn P. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reproductive health consistently ranks as one of the most important issues cited by adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors. Most literature on AYA cancer populations neglects broader reproductive health issues such as unintended pregnancies, contraception use and sexually transmitted infections, which, for cancer patients and survivors with compromised immune systems, can facilitate a multitude of future health problems. Lack of attention coupled with traditional risk-taking behaviors of AYAs poses a significant health risk to patients and survivors, particularly if fertility status is unknown or inaccurately assessed. AYA oncology patients and survivors are vulnerable to reproductive health complications that should be addressed prior to, during and after treatment; however, there are currently no tracking systems or evidence-based guidelines to discuss this subject with patients and survivors. Further research is needed to identify physician practices, AYA preferences and strategies for communication that can pave the way to establishing guidelines to discuss in oncology settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalContraception
Volume88
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

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