ACOG Committee Opinion No. 747 Summary: Gynecologic Issues in Children and Adolescent Cancer Patients and Survivors

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The diagnosis of cancer in females younger than 20 years is rare, with the incidence of 17 cases per 100,000 individuals per year in the United States. Although advancements in cancer therapy have dramatically improved childhood cancer survival, gynecologists should be aware of the increased risk of adverse reproductive health effects from each type of therapy. Cancer and its treatment may have immediate or delayed adverse effects on reproductive health. Gynecologists may be consulted for the following issues: pubertal concerns; menstrual irregularities; heavy menstrual bleeding and anemia; sexuality; contraception; ovarian function, including fertility preservation; breast and cervical cancer screening; hormone therapy; and graft-versus-host disease. Approximately 75% of pediatric cancer survivors experience at least one late effect on their health or quality of life. Vigilance in screening and observation on behalf of the health care provider with respect to menstrual irregularities, weight changes, sexual health, growth abnormalities, and bone density are important. In addition to pretreatment fertility conservation counseling, sexually active young women should be thoroughly educated about the risks of becoming pregnant during cancer treatment and strongly encouraged to use effective contraception; contraceptive choices should be discussed with the oncology team. A multidisciplinary approach to cancer survival care is encouraged. This Committee Opinion has been updated to include current data on sexuality and contraception, sexual dysfunction, risk of graft-versus-host disease after stem cell transplant, and updated references and recommendations for fertility preservation.

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