Developing a post-treatment survivorship care plan to help breast cancer survivors understand their fertility Journal Article


Authors: Gorman, J. R.; Julian, A. K.; Roberts, S. A.; Romero, S. A. D.; Ehren, J. L.; Krychman, M. L.; Boles, S. G.; Mao, J.; Su, H. I.
Article Title: Developing a post-treatment survivorship care plan to help breast cancer survivors understand their fertility
Abstract: Purpose: Reproductive-aged breast cancer survivors (BCS) who have completed initial cancer treatment frequently want to know about their future fertility potential. The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess if the fertility-related content presented in the survivorship care plan prototype met the informational needs of post-treatment BCS and to provide an opportunity for the target audience to review and react to the proposed content and design. Methods: We conducted and analyzed transcripts from seven focus groups with BCS to evaluate their reactions to the survivorship care plan prototype. We independently coded transcripts for consistent themes and sub-themes and used a consensus-building approach to agree on interpretation of results. Results: We identified five themes that describe the post-treatment BCS’ responses to the prototype survivorship care plan in the context of their informational needs and experiences: (1) the prototype’s fertility-related information is relevant; (2) desire for clinical parameters to help survivors understand their infertility risk; (3) fertility-related information is important throughout survivorship; (4) evidence-based content from a neutral source is trustworthy; and (5) the recommendation to see a fertility specialist is helpful, but cost is a barrier. Conclusions: BCS have concerns and needs related to their fertility potential after initial breast cancer treatment. The evidence-based information offered in our prototype survivorship care plan was acceptable to BCS and has significant potential to address these needs. Additional primary data that identify post-cancer treatment indicators of fertility would advance this effort. © 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany.
Keywords: adult; cancer chemotherapy; clinical article; cancer surgery; cancer radiotherapy; antineoplastic agent; consensus; breast cancer; evidence based practice; risk factor; cancer survivor; health care cost; medical information; communication; survivorship; medical specialist; fertility; breast surgery; qualitative research; health care planning; female fertility; female infertility; reproductive health; sexual health; trust; survivorship care plan; contraception; cancer; human; female; priority journal; article
Journal Title: Supportive Care in Cancer
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0941-4355
Publisher: Springer Verlag  
Date Published: 2018-02-01
Start Page: 589
End Page: 595
Language: English
DOI: 10.1007/s00520-017-3871-9
PROVIDER: scopus
PUBMED: 28913697
PMCID: PMC7413066
DOI/URL:
Notes: Article -- Export Date: 6 February 2018 -- Source: Scopus
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MSK Authors
  1. Jun J Mao
    155 Mao
  2. Sally Ann Dominick Romero
    17 Romero