A study presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, Florida showed that most oncologists fail to refer patients to fertilitity specialists as well as provide educational material regarding fertility. The ASCO has established guidelines for oncologists which suggest that they discuss fertility preservation and refer all patients to a specialist. A national survey of 2,000 oncologists was conducted in which 613 responded. 77% of oncologists report that they discuss fertility preservation with their patients, but less than 25% actually refer patients to a fertility specialist.
Some cancer treatments can affect fertility in both men and women and it is important for patients of child bearing age to understand their risks. It is important to have a discussion about fertility preservation early so that there is sufficient time to undergo any fertility perservation methods prior to starting cancer treatment. Despite this fact, many patients are not receiving adequate information about fertility preservation.