The Cancer, Fertility and Me study has been funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research and recently started in November 2015. It is a three year project to develop a decision support intervention for women of child bearing age, diagnosed with cancer who need to consider fertility preservation choices before starting cancer treatment. An iatrogenic consequence of cancer treatment is infertility. It is difficult for women with cancer to make decisions on longer-term lifestyle planning around starting a family while simultaneously addressing the immediate concerns of cancer therapy.
Our research addresses whether the development and integration of a decision support intervention within oncology services enables women in Yorkshire to make more informed decisions about fertility preservation during cancer care, and thus improve quality of life by reducing decisional conflict and regret with the choices they make.
The study is multi-centre, taking place in Sheffield and Leeds. HEDS staff member Dr Georgina Jones is the PI for the project and Jane Hughes is the research associate in Sheffield. Co-applicant Dr Hilary Bekker from the Leeds University Institute of Health will oversee the project at the Leeds site and provide expertise on Shared Decision Making. Dr Neda Mahmoodi is the research fellow in Leeds.
The wider team involved in this research is multi-disciplinary and has extensive experience clinically and methodologically in the fields of female cancer, reproductive medicine, decision-making and fertility preservation. Breast Cancer Care, the North Trent Cancer Research Network Consumer Research Panel, Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and the Independent Cancer Patients’ Voice charity are also collaborating on this study.