Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Cancer Care

Santa Clara Medical Center

News & Events

Dr. Pan and Dr. Lee's Blog

Cancer and Fertility

Mar 01, 2014

by Drs. Amy Lei, Lisa Fara-Eways, and Isiah D Harris

As oncologists, we discuss cancer diagnosis and treatment with our patients daily. Sometimes, what worries our patients is more than the cancer itself. Especially with younger patients, fertility issues can be a big concern. Chemotherapy is effective at treating many cancers, but these drugs can cause infertility. 

Because we strive to provide the most comprehensive cancer care possible, we provide our patients with the opportunity to meet with a fertility expert after cancer diagnosis. 

In Santa Clara, we have two reproductive endocrinologists available for consultation through our Sunnyvale fertility clinic. Dr. Isiah Harris and Dr. Lisa Farah-Eways are  our excellent physicians, who can provide you with an assessment of your current fertility health, plus an explanation of the effects of cancer therapy on your reproductive capabilities. 

At your fertility consultation, you will be asked to fill out questionnaires and have some baseline blood tests. Fertility preservation methods will be discussed. If you choose to pursue one of these options, cancer treatment may be postponed at least two to four weeks. Your reproductive endocrinologist and oncologist will discuss with you if delaying cancer treatment is a safe decision, based on your diagnosis, and if the fertility procedure itself has any risks that can affect your outcome.

What are your options for preserving fertility?

You can remove and freeze some cells, tissues, or fertilized eggs (embryos) before treating your cancer. This way you may be able to have children after your treatment. This process is called cryopreservation or freezing. The kind of cancer that you have can determine what your options are. In addition, it is important to note that patients with cancer have been shown to have a decreased response to the medications used to stimulate the ovaries.  The following is a brief explanation of the available options.

Embryo cryopreservation is the most common option. Before freezing the embryos, you have a procedure done called in vitro fertilization (IVF). In IVF, you will be given hormones to stimulate the growth of your eggs. After that, the eggs will be aspirated (removed by gentle suction) from the ovaries. Embryos are then produced by joining the sperm and egg together in the laboratory before being frozen. 

Not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. The medications that make your body produce more eggs may also make your body produce more hormones, such as estrogen. Estrogen can make some cancers worse. 

Obviously, this is not a viable option if you have cancer of the ovary.

Egg (oocyte) cryopreservation is similar to embryo cryopreservation, except the eggs are not fertilized before they are frozen. Eggs that survive the freeze-thaw process will then be fertilized in the laboratory with your partner’s or donor sperm. So far, the rate of successful pregnancies resulting from egg cryopreservation is  relatively low, but this rate is improving with further scientific research. 

What is the cost for fertility treatment?
It is important to note that expenses for fertility treatments are not a covered benefit. You should anticipate spending at least $10,000 for the treatment, plus an annual fee of at least $400 for storing the eggs or embryos. 

Resources: 

Destination health: Stopping cancer before it starts

Focus on cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and research

2019 "Eat Well, Heal Well Live Well" Resources and Educational Session Links

Resources and educational links for our 2019 Seeds of Hope.

2018 Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Resources and Educational Session Links

Resources and educational links for our 2018 Seeds of Hope.

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