Around 1.5 million American men and women are diagnosied with cancer annually. Ten percent of those are under the age of 45 and one percent will be younger than 20. That translates into around 70,000 young adults, all under the age of 20 years old, who will have to grapple with this disease. Statistics aside, if you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, life may never be the same. Mind reeling, you may or may not think about options for parenthood later on. Of course, many cancer treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may have the effect of rendering the person on the receiving end infertile. Of course, survival is the number one goal but many cancer patients report that their ensuing infertility was just as devastating to them as their original diagnosis.
Fertility can often be preserved prior to cancer therapy beginning, for both men, women, boys and girls. These options can be as simple as collecting and freezing sperm, or can become more complicated and expensive, including testicular needle aspiration for young boys or egg freezing for young women.
According to change.org, the vast majority of insurance comapnies and HMO's in the United States do not cover fertility preservation treatments such as those referenced above.
Currently, legislation addressing this issue is being decided upon in California. Bill AB 428 is being sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino but your help is needed. No matter where you live, your name on a petition requesting support of this bill will be meaningful and will not go unnoticed.
Be the change.