Fertility Issues of Childhood Cancer Survivors: The Role of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Fertility Preservation

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The purpose of this review is to discuss the role of the pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) surrounding the survivorship issue of infertility. The author outlines the effects of treatment, examines available options, explores ethical and legal issues, discusses the role of the PNP, and addresses areas of further research. The issue of postcancer reproductive health is increasing in importance as both the number of cancer survivors and length of survival increases. Approximately 1 out of every 900 individuals in the United States between the ages of 15 and 45 years is a survivor of childhood cancer. In fact, the survival rates for childhood cancer have improved dramatically. Sexual function and fertility in children and adolescents has become a prominent issue, and this review illustrates the gap between care providers and patients and describes how PNPs must fill this gap to manage the adverse effects on fertility and gonadal dysfunction.

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