THE FERTILITY FIGHT
Sony Foundation Launches National Fertility Preservation Service for youth cancer patients
25 September 2019
A pioneering service to transport, freeze and store reproductive tissue for young cancer patients will be made national thanks to funding from Sony Foundation. The service – the first of its kind in Australia - will enable medical professionals nationwide to offer free fertility-preserving treatment to youth cancer patients aged 13 – 30 years.
Sony Foundation identified a gap in the health system for young people with cancer who weren’t getting access to affordable fertility preservation options. Alarmingly, Currently, only 4 per cent of young women and 1 in 4 young men undergo fertility preservation before chemotherapy, despite research showing infertility is the number one issue that has an identified impact on a young person’s quality of life following cancer.
Sony Foundation believes this is a preventable health issue and another example of how 15 – 25 year olds with cancer are falling through the health system in Australia.
Sophie Ryan, Sony Foundation CEO, said: “Sony Foundation’s funding will ensure this innovative fertility service is available for all young people diagnosed with cancer. No longer will young people miss out on this treatment due to barriers such as lack of access for regional patients, cost and time restrictions. But more importantly, providing access will give young people facing cancer hope and the opportunity to focus on life after cancer.
“Kate Stern’s team have a long history of providing fertility preservation expertise including tissue, egg and sperm freezing, counselling and support to patients affected by cancer and other fertility threatening, medical conditions. With their help, this service will lead the way in this space.”
Sony Foundation’s mission is for 100% of young people who are diagnosed with cancer to be offered fertility preservation that’s free and easily accessible.
Associate Professor Kate Stern who leads the National Ovarian and Testicular tissue Transport and Cryopreservation Service (NOTTCS) is thrilled to be able to deliver this exciting new initiative that has already proven to change people’s lives.
“Fertility counselling is an essential part of cancer management mandated by international guidelines. But despite this, many at-risk young cancer patients do not know about the options out there to preserve their fertility,” says A/Professor Stern.
“This service will enable tissue to be collected, transported and cryopreserved in Melbourne from patients right around Australia. It will give access to state-of-the-art fertility preservation to young people who might have thought that it’s the end of the road for their fertility.
“With the support of Sony Foundation, this service will now be available nationally.”
For further information on the Nationals Ovarian and Testicular Tissue Transport Service:
Call: (03) 83453227
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