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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-29

Psychosocial needs of cancer survivors in fertility preservation: A systematic review


Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Santosh K Chaturvedi
National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/tofj.tofj_4_17

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Background: There is a rise in the global incidence of cancer however, with the advancement in the available treatment options there is an increased survival rate in patients with cancer. Among cancer survivors, there are varied psychosocial challenges in the context of fertility preservation which are poorly addressed and there are limited studies on psychosocial interventions to address those psychosocial concerns. Methods: This literature review aims to study the psychosocial issues; ethical, moral and legal challenges in the context of fertility preservation in patients with cancer. PubMed and PsychINFO were systematically searched for English-language publications from the earliest available publication date of each database uptill November 2017. Among 144 unique articles concerning oncofertility and psychosocial issues; ethical, moral and legal challenges in fertility preservation in patients with cancer, 18 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included for the study. Results: In the context of fertility preservation in patients with cancer, the most common short term psychosocial concerns are dealing with double jeopardy (cancer and risk of losing fertility), fear about cancer mortality, concerns about sexuality and reproductive capacity, body image and illness related adjustment disorder or depression which all could affect the decision making and quality of life if, left unaddressed. The long term psychosocial concerns are changes in relationship, prolonged grief, internal conflicts regarding disclosing about their illness, uncertainty about fertility and devastation from the confirmed infertility, post cancer treatment regret. The ethical and legal challenges which arises with fertility preservation in cancer patients are poorly addressed by the existent practice codes and guidelines. Conclusions: To the best of the authors' knowledge, little research to date has addressed the psychosocial concerns of the patients with cancer in fertility preservation. Health care providers should take a pro-active step in identification and addressing the psychosocial concerns of the patients and to adapt a collaborative approach by involving mental health professionals. There is a need for guidelines that are culturally sensitive.


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