Many young adult female cancer survivors (YAFCS) are at risk of experiencing premature menopause. The current study characterized the posttreatment fertility information needs, reproductive concerns, and decisional conflict regarding future options for posttreatment fertility preservation (FP) among YAFCS.METHODS:
Participants completed a Web-based, anonymous survey between February and March 2015. The survey included investigator-designed questions of perceived information needs, the Reproductive Concerns After Cancer Scale, and the Decisional Conflict Scale. Analyses included Pearson correlation coefficients, independent-sample Student t tests, and multiple regression.RESULTS:
There was a total of 346 participants with an average age of 29.9 years (SD = 4.1 years) who were 4.9 years from treatment (SD = 5.4 years [range, 0–27 years]). The main analyses focused on a subgroup of YAFCS with uncertain fertility status who had not previously undergone/attempted FP and either wanted future children or were unsure (179 women). Across fertility information topics, 43% to 62% of participants reported unmet information needs. The greatest reproductive concerns were related to fertility potential and the health of future offspring. The regression model controlled for a priori covariates including current age, age at treatment completion, income, relationship status, nulliparity, and prior fertility evaluation. Greater unmet information needs were found to be related to greater decisional conflict (β = .43; p<.001); greater reproductive concerns were associated at the trend level (β = .14, p = .08; F[8,118] = 6.42, p<.001).CONCLUSIONS:
YAFCS with limited awareness or knowledge of their risk of experiencing premature menopause and FP options reported higher levels of decisional conflict regarding future FP. Posttreatment survivorship care should include comprehensive reproductive health counseling, including posttreatment FP options and family-building alternatives. Cancer2016;122:2101–9. © 2016 American Cancer Society.