Having Children After Cancer: How to Make Informed Choices Before and After Treatment and Build the Family of Your Dreams

Having Children After Cancer: How to Make Informed Choices Before and After Treatment and Build the Family of Your Dreams

by Gina M. Shaw, Hope S. Rugo
     
 

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Yes, you can have children after cancer.
 
When faced with a cancer diagnosis, many doctors and patients rush full-speed ahead into treatment, giving minimal attention to the potential fertility implications. Luckily, the field of oncofertility is growing quickly, and medical writer Gina Shaw, herself a cancer survivor, is ready to unravel…  See more details below

Overview

Yes, you can have children after cancer.
 
When faced with a cancer diagnosis, many doctors and patients rush full-speed ahead into treatment, giving minimal attention to the potential fertility implications. Luckily, the field of oncofertility is growing quickly, and medical writer Gina Shaw, herself a cancer survivor, is ready to unravel the complex and evolving issues involved in pre- and post-cancer fertility and family-building options—for both men and women. Having Children After Cancer gives you all the tools you need to:

  • Understand how different cancers can affect fertility
  • Identify which treatments―chemo, radiation, and surgery―can potentially impair your fertility
  • Discuss fertility-sparing treatment options with your doctor
  • Select the fertility preservation method that’s right for you—from freezing eggs, embryos, and sperm to preserving ovarian tissue
  • Analyze the chances of getting pregnant—using natural methods and with in vitro fertilization
  • Determinethe best time to get pregnant (and which drug therapies to avoid while doing so)
  • Have a healthy post-cancer pregnancy
  • Navigate surrogacy and what to tell prospective candidates about your medical history
  • Consider adoption and learn about survivor-friendly adoption programs and countries
  • Find sample medical letters and other insurance-company red-tape busting information
  • Think through the implications of mother- and fatherhood after cancer
  • Figure out how to talk to your children about the big C
With a foreword by top oncologist Hope Rugo of the UCSF Cancer Center, this first and only cancer-and-fertility guide for patients and survivors will allow you to be your own best advocate throughout the journey.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shaw, a health and medical writer, breast cancer survivor, and mother of three, focuses on both practical and personal matters in this accessible, comprehensive look at becoming a parent after cancer. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36 and wary of pregnancy when her treatments ended, Shaw adopted a child, but later gave birth to two more. She maintains that while cancer treatment can put fertility at risk, damaging sperm and/or eggs, there is no reason why the disease should close the door to future parenthood. And while both cancer itself and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation may cause fertility problems ranging from premature menopause to damaged DNA, there are many available solutions. The author urges couples to talk to their physicians about fertility issues as soon as possible, and walks readers through such options as egg, embryo, and ovarian tissue freezing for women and sperm banking for men. She maintains that the odds of getting one's fertility back after cancer may be better than expected, but helpfully also covers such alternatives as egg donors, surrogacy, and adoption. This is an invaluable guidebook for couples journeying into parenthood after cancer. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Winner: Honorable Menition in the Service/ Self-Help Category.
The American Society of Journalists and Authors, 2012

“Gina M. Shaw’s new book is a welcome addition to my cancer book library. ...’Be My Baby’ is a forty-seven page chapter on cancer and adoption—one of the most in-depth sources I’ve read on the subject. Like the rest of her book, it is laden with straight-up, indispensable information for both men and women facing cancer and planning a family. ...A writer after my own heart, Gina gives readers a serious education on the legal, financial, medical, and administrative side of family planning. ...Whether you are recently diagnosed, a childhood cancer survivor, or just out of treatment, Having Children After Cancer is the family planning go-to-book.”
Kairol Rosenthal, author of Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s, 2/7/11

“an invaluable guidebook for couples journeying into parenthood after cancer.”
—Publishers Weekly, 1/3/11

“Practical and helpful, this is recommended for cancer survivors and others facing fertility issues.”
—Library Journal, 1/1/11

“This is the book that thousands of cancer survivors have been waiting for. As treatments improve, more and more survivors are thinking about having families, and this book fills the information gap between what they’re told and what they need to know. If you've been touched by cancer as a patient, caregiver, or loved one, this book is for you.”
—Lynn Westphal, MD, associate professor, Stanford School of Medicine

Library Journal
Health writer Shaw explores her own attempts to have children after surviving breast cancer; she both adopted and had a biological child after completing her treatment. She explains her decision-making process and the alternatives available to those who recover from cancer. Freezing eggs in advance, surrogates, and other forms of assisted reproduction also are addressed. She offers specifics that may not have occurred to many, e.g., the rejection of some applicants with a history of cancer in the adoption process and breastfeeding after mastectomy. This first-person narrative employs a personal and friendly tone. Shaw includes practical questions to ask yourself if you're considering different procedures along with a helpful list of resources. Though she does mention men who have had cancer and those who survived childhood cancer, most of the book is directed to women who survived early adult cancers. VERDICT Practical and helpful, this is recommended for cancer survivors and others facing fertility issues.—Elizabeth Williams, Washoe Cty. Lib. Syst., Reno, NV

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587613654
Publisher:
Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
Publication date:
02/22/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

GINA SHAW, a health and medical writer, was newly married and trying for a baby when—at age thirty-six—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, seven years later, she’s a survivor and proud mother of three children, both adopted and biological. Gina chronicled her journey through breast cancer for Redbook in a five-part diary series. She won the Society of Professional Journalists’ award for a WebMD series and the Association of Women in Communications’ Clarion Award for another Redbook series, “The Fertility Diaries.” Her articles have also been published by Ladies’ Home Journal, Fitness, and Woman’s Day. She lives with her husband and children in Montclair, New Jersey.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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