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Oncologists May Often Fail to Refer for Fertility Counseling

HealthDay News,  Oct 16, 2009
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Less than half of U.S. oncologists refer their cancer patients of childbearing age for counseling on fertility preservation, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Ph.D., of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and colleagues analyzed data from a 53-item survey administered by the American Medical Association to a stratified random sample of U.S. oncologists to determine if fertility preservation counseling referral rates are in accordance with guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The authors note that, of the 613 respondents, only 47 percent routinely refer cancer patients in their childbearing years to a reproductive endocrinologist for evaluation. Among the clinicians most likely to refer were female physicians, physicians with favorable fertility preservation attitudes as reflected on the survey, and physicians whose patients asked about fertility preservation. Read more.


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