- Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “Villa Sofia Cervello” Hospital, IVF Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo, ItalyInterests: hysteroscopy; laparoscopy; endometriosis; benign gynecological pathology; urogynecology; fertility; art; papillomavirus and related diseases; placentaSpecial Issues and Topics in IMR Press journalsSpecial Issue in Placenta Anomalies
Annual global cancer burden is estimated to reach approximately 18 million cases and, in women, gynaecological cancers have a prevalence of 15%–20% of total diagnosed neoplasms. In particular, approximately 20% of gynaecological cancers effect women under 40 years of age who often have not realized their desire for motherhood. Unfortunately, in such cases, the effects of surgery and/or radio-chemotherapy are often devastating for a woman's fertility.
Based on this premise, the preservation of fertility has become a central topic in research and clinical practice worldwide. Moreover, many recent guidelines recommend that healthcare providers discuss with their oncologic patients the impact of cancer treatments on fertility from the earliest stages of therapy. Such frank discussions can help to guide women in choosing between different fertility preservation options, as well as improving quality of life for these patients.
Today, fertility preservation includes well-established techniques such as oocyte and embryo freezing, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Increased awareness and experience utilizing these technologies has led to the acceptance of new indications for fertility preservation techniques, such as genetically-related risk for premature ovarian failure or other medical conditions. Such approaches may considerably limit the time available for conception, for example, endometriosis should be recognized as an indication for fertility preservation owing to not only effects of the pathology on endometrial and ovarian function, but also because of frequent extensive pelvic surgery involving the ovaries.
Similarly, fertility preservation strategies must also be extended to the male oncologic patients. The effect of cancer and its treatment on spermatogenesis is well established, and sperm cryopreservation is the best available pre-treatment insurance for future fertility.
Finally, fertility preservation is very important for both male and female adolescents at serious risk of compromised fertility. Currently, the ability to preserve fertility is a central aspect in the management of many diseases for this age group.
The goal of this Special Issue is to provide new information, additional data, and relevant insight concerning comprehensive aspects of fertility preservation in females, males, as well as the adolescent population.
Dr. Gloria Calagna
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