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Gilead Sciences: Preserving Fertility in the Face of a Cancer Diagnosis

Gilead Sciences: Preserving Fertility in the Face of a Cancer Diagnosis

Published 06-06-24

Submitted by Gilead Sciences

Emma was a 28-year-old nursing student when she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. She had always wanted children and, once she learned that her treatment could affect her fertility, she found herself needing to make a quick family planning decision to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) and freeze her eggs.

“You think that you have time to have all these things happen, and you don't,” says Emma. “Your life is put on hold and your future's put on hold, and who knows if you even could have kids.”

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, about 9% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States are younger than 45 years old. While surgery and radiation rarely affect fertility, women who undergo chemotherapy can experience immediate or long-term infertility if eggs become damaged or destroyed. Other cancer treatments, such as hormone therapy, aren’t known to cause infertility, but the treatment duration could interfere with the biological clock of childbearing years.

Gilead partners with various organizations that support people living with breast cancer. One such organization, the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), recognizes the unique needs of people of childbearing age and works with patients under 40 through nearly every facet of their cancer treatment journey.

“People may tell you to focus on treating your cancer first, but it’s important that you also consider life after cancer treatment and the impact of any treatment you may choose,” says Amanda Nixon, YSC’s Director of Community Engagement and Empowerment. She says her organization always recommends that younger women diagnosed with cancer seek a consultation from a fertility preservation expert if having biological children is of interest.

Watch the video above to learn about two women’s fertility journey.

Originally published by Gilead Sciences

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Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

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